Buzzer sounds for ‘Johnny Buckets’


Columbia native Jonathan Holmes announced he is hanging up his hooping shoes after three seasons at the University of Arkansas.

Holmes, who made the NCAA Division I basketball team as a hard-working walk-on after leading the Columbia High School hoops team to a regional title during his senior year in 2016, played in 22 games at Arkansas over three seasons with 23 career points.

He was surprised with a scholarship in the spring during a special presentation following practice.

With the dismissal of Razorbacks head coach Mike Anderson on March 26, however, Holmes was recently notified that his athletic scholarship would no longer be honored.

“I will not be on scholarship again next year and would have to go back to being a walk-on,” Holmes wrote in his announcement  over the weekend. “Being a walk-on has taught me a lot but being the competitor that I am, it was one of the hardest things to come in every day and put in all that work for such little result. But by the grace of God, all of that hard work eventually paid off and I was able to chase down my dream of being a Division I scholarship athlete. It really hurt hearing that I wasn’t going to have a chance at a scholarship next year and that I would have to go out like this, but life gives you tough draws sometimes.”

Jonathan, the son of Dave and Tracey Holmes, became known as “Johnny Buckets” by Arkansas basketball fans since every time he stepped on the court, they knew the Razorbacks were comfortably ahead for a win.

Holmes thanked Coach Anderson and his staff for taking a chance on him.

“Without them, Johnny Buckets would never have happened,” he said.

Holmes also thanked his parents and family for helping him along the way.

“Unfortunately this is the end of my journey and I can’t think of another school that I would’ve wanted to create all these memories at,” Holmes said. “To the people of Columbia back home, I hope to of made y’all proud and hopefully I inspired some of y’all to go after your dreams that seem impossible coming from a little town like ours.”

Jonathan’s younger brother, Jordan Holmes, was a freshman walk-on with the University of Illinois football team this past fall after starring in football, basketball and baseball for the Eagles.

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