Warriors Sign Summer League Standout Justin Holiday


Justin Holiday has been signed by the Golden State Warriors, the team announced Monday.

Holiday, 25, is the older brother of New Orleans Pelicans point guard, Jrue Holiday. A California-native hailing from Mission Hills, Santa Barbara, Holiday attended Campbell Hall High School in Studio City, Los Angeles along with his brother.

While Jrue graduated from Campbell as one of the top college recruits in 2008, Justin had led his team to an almost-undefeated record (33-1), as well as a CA Division IV state championship. Justin averaged 19.1 points, 9.5 rebounds and 2.0 blocks in his senior year before moving on to play for the University of Washington.

Playing at Washington was tough for Holiday, especially considering his role and minutes remained minuscule for his first three years playing for the Huskies. Other than being named to the Pac-10 All-Defensive Team, Holiday went unnoticed by NBA scouts for the majority of his college career.

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  • It wasn’t until his senior year that his role increased significantly, acting as co-captain alongside former Sacramento Kings point guard, Isaiah Thomas.

    Standing at 6-feet-6-inches tall with a 7-foot wingspan, Holiday was known primarily as a defensive stopper for UDub, averaging 10.5 points, 5.2 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.2 steals in his final year. Due to his prowess on the defensive end, he earned the nickname “The Fireman” for his ability to extinguish opponents that would get hot from the field.

    While he went undrafted in 2011, a determined Holiday chose to take his talents overseas to play with the Generali Okapi Aalstar of Belgium. He averaged 7.4 points, 3.0 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.2 steals on roughly 40 percent shooting, helping his club to win the Belgian Cup.

    Holiday caught the eye of NBA executives after his international showing, joining the Cleveland Cavaliers Summer League team in 2012. While they subsequently signed him following Summer League, Holiday was later waived by the Cavs and picked up by the Portland Trailblazers, who also waived him.

    He would sign with the Idaho Stampede (formerly the D-League affiliate of the Blazers), for which he averaged 17.3 points, 5.3 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 2.4 steals. He earned 2013 All-NBA D-League Third Team and All-NBA D-League Defensive Second Team honors for his efforts on the defensive end.

    Holiday then signed with the Philadelphia 76ers for the remainder of the 2012-13 season, later playing for their Summer League team the following offseason. Unfortunately, his story remained the same as he was waived by the Sixers, only to be picked up and waived by the Utah Jazz.

    This again pushed him to seek work across the pond, where he found a job playing for the Szolnoki Olaj of Hungary for the 2013-14 season. Holiday continued to improve, averaging 12.2 points, 4.6 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.3 steals to help Szolnoki win the Hungarian Cup.

    It was in Feburary 2014 that the Santa Cruz Warriors, Golden State’s D-League affiliate, was able to acquire Holiday’s rights via trade, setting things in motion for him to join GSW’s Summer League roster.

    Holiday became one of the team’s primary options under head coach Steve Kerr, who utilized Holiday’s length, athleticism and scoring ability to become a force on both ends. Playing this summer in Las Vegas, Holiday averaged 14.8 points, 5.0 rebounds and 1.0 blocks on 41.7 percent shooting from the field.

    Now a part of the training camp roster, the Summer League standout joins fellow Warriors SL players Aaron Craft and James Michael McAdoo in their attempt to make the final squad.

    While Holiday had a great experience with the team in Las Vegas, the recent acquisition of Leandro Barbosa and signing of Brandon Rush puts the young shooting guard’s chances at slim-to-none.