Where in the world is Justin Holt?

One of the last times we saw 6-7 wing/forward Justin Holt he was celebrating at mid-court of the Tacoma Dome after just having led the Lincoln Abes to their second consecutive Class 4A state championship.

Not long afterwards we watched him play in the WIBCA All-State games and he was soon to be off to Corvalis, Oregon to play some college hoops for the Oregon State Beavers.

But OSU Coach Richie McKay was leaving Corvalis for Albuquerque and the University of New Mexico and the main reason Justin had signed with Oregon State was because of the relationship he had developed with McKay.

So Holt stayed put, playing a year for Coach Carl Howell at Tacoma Community College and averaging 23 points with 10 rebounds per game as a freshman.

He then signed with Iowa State but again weird things happened. First Cyclone Coach Larry Eustacy was fired for having a bit too much fun while on a road trip at Missouri. Then the NCAA allegedly declared Holt ineligible as he had not completed his Associate's Degree. But as far as we knew Holt was not a Prop-whatever kinda guy out of high school, he had mentioned his just-received qualifying SAT score the summer prior to his senior year when we ran into him at a tournament at Lincoln.

So Holt again was making tracks, next stop Virginia Tech after he signed with the Hokies and Coach Seth Greenberg. In Blacksburg Holt was handed his walking papers before his first practice for a violation of team rules.

The 6-7, 205-pound Justin was then off to Indian Hills (Iowa) CC where he earned honorable mention honors on the all-Region 9 team as selected by the Iowa Community College Athletic Conference. He led the conference in steals and ranked fourth in rebounding and blocked shots.

Justin Holt's circle has taken him around the country. It has not gone unbroken as he and McKay found each other once again and Justin is now in Albuquerque where he will have two years of eligibility with McKay's Lobos.

Holt's honors while playing for Coach Tim Kelly's Abes included Seattle Times All Classifications Player-of-the-Year, Class 4A Player-of-the-Year as selected by the Seattle Times, Tacoma News-Tribune and the Associated Press, state tournament MVP and Narrows League MVP. During his junior and senior seasons the Abes went a combined 56-3 with a pair of 4A state titles.

Holt is McKay's second Washington prep star to find his way to Albuquerque and the infamous Pit. Former Mount Vernon star Troy DeVries just finished up his college eligibility after transferring from Portland State to UNM. DeVries and Holt were teammates on the Friends of Hoops select squad for two years.

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