Up Close & Personal with Justin Holbrook

Up Close & Personal with Justin Holbrook

Dec. 14, 2001

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The senior from Cottage Grove, Oregon is in his fifth year at Santa Clara and his fourth year on the court after redshirting his first year in 1997-98. Last year he had his most productive season, averaging 8.2 points and 2.8 rebounds per game, playing in 32 games.

This year he ranks fifth on the team in points per game with 4.8, and in rebounds with 2.5 per contest. After missing the team's first contest this season, he scored nine points against both California and Washington.

Justin recently sat down to share his thoughts on a wide variety of subjects, including his favorite basketball memory in a Bronco uniform.

Q: What is the most memorable moment of your Santa Clara career?
A: "I think back to last year at San Diego. I hit a last second buzzer beater when we were down two. B.J. (Brian Jones) in-bounded the ball to me and I made the shot to beat San Diego and I remember just turning to the referee to make sure it counted because I really didn't hear the buzzer, I just got the shot off. I finally saw his hands were up signaling it was good and all of a sudden I am being mobbed by B.J. and the rest of the team. That was really fun."

Q: What made you think that you had time to turn and bounce the ball before shooting that shot, seeing as you only had 1.4 seconds on the clock?
A: "I got it so far away from the basket, I thought that if I could just get one step closer and maybe I can get a better chance to hit it."

Q: What sort of things have you learned at Santa Clara?
A: "I think the biggest thing that I have learned is that in everything you do to strive for excellence. Just the other day Coach Seandel was telling us that when we go to an airport to not lay down in the aisle, that if we wanted to sleep to sit in a chair just like everyone else, to be presentable at all times. I think that is something that all of the coaches have tried to stress to us is to carry ourselves with class and to give everything we have on the floor."

Q: What is one goal that you set for yourself this year?
A: "We haven't made it into the NCAA tournament since I have been here and that is the big thing for us seniors this year. We always hear the coaches talk about the fun and atmosphere that accompany making the tournament, and we want to experience that feeling."

Q: Who has been a big influence on your life?
A: "My freshman year when Lloyd Pierce was here I just looked up to him at how he carried himself on and off the court and I respected how he did carry himself. One night he called everyone on the team and said he was making spaghetti for everyone in his apartment. I just admired him, and on the court how hard he played. He was just a classy guy. I truly looked up to him coming is as a freshman."

Q: What does life after basketball include?
A: "I am interested in television production and stuff like that. Maybe somewhere down the line I can get into something like that. You won't see me on "Sportscenter" or anything like that, nothing in front of the camera. I like the technical aspect of television, the behind the scenes sorts of things."

Q: Growing up, did you and your sister Holly (Sophomore on the Oregon State women's basketball team) play on-on-one against each other?
A: "Yeah, we played against each other once is a while. She was too afraid of me when we were younger then. She was good, but not that good yet. We would shoot together all the time, but we wouldn't play against each other that much. She did really well the other night, she scored 28, so I am proud of her and what she has accomplished."

Q: "What has it been like this year for you to be more of a vocal leader as a senior?
A: "It has been an adjustment. It is something that I have to constantly work on. I think that it has reflected in our play this year, I haven't done my job as a leader yet this year. That is something that I have to constantly work at and try to adjust to."