It's been a long and winding road for Eli Holman. A suspension last season, then a close call recently when shots were fired at a car in which he was a passenger, followed by a delayed decision regarding his return to basketball.
Thomas Wolfe's most quoted book title is "You Can't Go Home Again." Holman proved Wolfe incorrect by returning to his home-away-from-home, the basketball court, when Richmond High (Calif.) played Encinal Thursday night. This would be Holman's very first game back.
Returned to the court actually is quite the understatement. Try 27 points (12-of-15 shooting), 11 rebounds, 9 blocked shots and five assists -- no, he took possession of the court in Richmond's 79-74 road victory.
Although no rustiness was evident, Holman had been unable to practice with his teammates until his reinstatement. In lieu of team practice, he had been performing individual workouts with mentor Lonnie Coleman.
Asked what he was feeling prior to the game, Holman simply but appropriately said, "very excited."
Truth can sometimes be stranger than fiction. Such certainly is the case for Holman the past 12 or so months but he's back at Richmond High, doing what he enjoys doing most of all.
With the addition of Holman, the Oilers are now a real darkhorse to be feared for the remainder of the season and beyond.