In just the fourth game of his junior season, Eli Holman from Richmond High (Calif.) made illegal contact with an official and was suspended the remainder of the year, and possibly his prep career. However, with the club circuit just around the corner, the 6-foot-9, 220 pound center is eager to get back on the basketball court and reclaim his reputation.
"Temper" was Holman's response when asked about the incident that led to his suspension. The No. 1 ranked college prospect in the class of 2007 by NorCalPreps.com, Holman has been attending Anger Management classes in the hope of regaining his eligibility next season. On December 3, Holman shoved an official while protesting a technical foul call. He was subsequently suspended by the Richmond High administration for 18 months, in effect the rest of his high school career.
But now, Holman has hope. The North Coast Section has allowed him to appeal which opens the door for his return next season. Holman said he is very confident he will be reinstated and allowed to play what would be his senior season. In the meantime, he looks forward to joining his club team, Shakur Village, for the summer.
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Holman believes his suspension has probably affected his recruiting somewhat but he views it as a chance to see which college programs are most serious about him. "It is very important to me to find a college that will not turn their back on me in times of trouble, that will stick with me and accept me with open arms," said Holman.
The schools expressing interest in Holman, include Oregon State, Connecticut, New Mexico, West Virginia, Virginia, San Jose State, San Diego State, and every Pac-10 school save Stanford. He has two solid scholarship offers from New Mexico and Oregon State, who offered this past week.
Concerning his favorites, Holman stressed it is very important for him to stay on the West Coast. "My top four, in this order, are Oregon State, San Jose State, San Diego State, and Washington," said Holman.
With a GPA above 2.5 and a scheduled April SAT date, Holman sees everything falling into place for him to play next season, in college, and perhaps even further into the future.