Mike Holmes is feeling pretty good about things these days. The 6-foot-7, 200-pound forward from Lee High School in Bishopville, S.C. just won a 2A state championship and has a SEC school at the top of his list.
The even-keeled big man said the realization of winning the Palmetto State title took a while to settle in.
"At first it didn't hit me. I had to go home and let it sink in," Holmes said. "That's when I realized what happened. Me and my mom celebrated a little bit after that.
"It felt good getting it. We had to overcome a lot to win it. In one game we were down by 16 points in the fourth quarter and we were able to come back and win. It was that defense that did it."
And it has been that defense that has helped Holmes carve out a niche for Lee High this year. The big man shined on the defensive end of the floor in championship game. He recorded 14 rebounds and eight blocks in the last game of the year.
"They had a lot of three second calls go their way because they just didn't want to come inside the lane," Holmes said.
While opponents stayed away from the hard-working and athletic big man, the recruiters have come at a fervent pace to see the No. 42 ranked player in the class of 2007, especially South Carolina.
"They have been good to me, always staying on me and helping me understand that I need to keep my grades up so I can get into school," Holmes said. "I like their coaches. Coach Ken (Potsonak) is a good dude. They've all been pretty good to me."
Holmes has been to a couple of USC games this year and said the proximity of the school does give Dave Odom's club some leverage. People around Bishopville keeping asking him one question: Are the Gamecocks the leader going into the AAU season?
"They are right now," Holmes said.
He added that Alabama, Wake Forest, Florida, Clemson and North Carolina are also in tow.
Holmes averaged 17 points, 13 rebounds and four blocks in his junior season.