By: Cole Shelton
J.R. Holder attended the University Jacksonville and following a successful college career he headed overseas to the British Basketball League. There he helped the Leicester Raiders win a championship and was the Finals MVP during the 2017-18 season.
In the two years overseas he had a ton of success and looked to make the leap to the NBA G League. But, after getting cut, Holder looked North and contacted Logan Stutz to work out a deal to sign with the Sudbury Five.
"I decided to come here kind of late. I was working out with a couple of different G Leagues team during the summer and this is one of the only league that started late enough for me to do that," Holder said in a recent phone interview. "I didn't make the G League and I talked to coach [Logan] Stutz and he was happy to have me."
When he came here, Holder didn't know what kind of role he would have. So far, through 10 games, he has yet to start a game. But, he is average 30.5 minutes per game and often closes out games.
So, for Holder, he doesn't care that he isn't stating as he is making a big impact off the bench.
"It doesn't matter to me whether I start or not," he said. "I have seen a lot of people have big impacts off the bench. I still finish games so it doesn't matter to me."
Part of the reason why J.R. Holder is having success off the bench is because of his shot. He is shooting 49.2 per cent from the field and 41.4 per cent from three. He says shooting is a huge part of his game.
Yet, what makes Holder even better is his defensive game, which he prides himself on.
"I definitely try to be one of the best two-way guys out there," he said. I just know if you stop them from scoring you will win the game. So, the defence is a huge part of my game."
With the Five, Holder is looking to win another championship. He now knows what it takes to win in a professional setting and says he has talked to his teammates about that.
"I really learned what it took to win. Whether it is rebounding, or scoring the ball or being sound defensively. Whatever the team needs is what I will bring to the table," he explained.
Right now, the Five are 7-5 previously winning four in a row before yesterday afternoon. For Holder, he says the hot streak is because the team is starting to gel together.
"We had a couple of preseason games and we just had to learn everyone. What everyone's game is, so it was a learning thing. Once everyone is clicking we will be really good," Holder said. "The travel is also one of the toughest things on us."
In the end, J.R. Holder is confident he will help the Sudbury Five win their first NBLC championship and that is the goal.
"I want to bring a championship to Sudbury. We are looking for a championship, nothing less," he concluded.