Holmes earns state hoops kudos

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A third Holmes brother is carrying on the family’s rich basketball tradition at Columbia High School.

Following his amazing junior season for the Eagles, Jackson Holmes was named to an Illinois Basketball Coaches Association Special Mention in Class 2A.

Holmes, the younger brother of past CHS hoops greats Jonathan and Jordan Holmes, led the Republic-Times coverage area this winter with 17 points and 7.8 rebounds per game. He also averaged more than two blocks per game.

“It’s a great honor for him individually for all the hard work he has put in,” Columbia head coach Brooks Demijan said. “He had a very productive offseason and being a three-sport athlete, he still found time to get into the gym to work on his skill set.”

Jackson also played football this fall and is a member of the CHS baseball team as a pitcher. He has a verbal commitment to pitch at Saint Louis University upon his graduation next year. 

Holmes had high games this season of 37 and 38 points for the Eagles, but Demijan also said he was the team’s most unselfish player.

“His vision and ability to find the open player when he was double- and sometimes triple-teamed just comes natural to him, but is certainly something he works on often,” Demijan said. “He provides instant chemistry with all of his teammates when he’s in the game and we feel confident when the ball is in his hands, whether that be in the post or his ability to step out and knock down a shot.” 

Demijan added that Jackson’s ability to block and alter shots helped the Eagles stay competitive in several games.

“He’s just an all-around complete player, and we are excited for next year already,” Demijan said. 

In addition to IBCA all-state recognition, Jackson was MVP of the Columbia-Freeburg Holiday Tournament, named to the Mascoutah Tip-Off Classic  and Sparta Mid-Winter Classic all-tournament teams and made this year’s Republic-Times All-Local First Team.

He also advanced in the Class 2A three-point shootout to the sectional round in McLeansboro.

His oldest brother, Jonathan, walked on for the University of Arkansas basketball team, playing Division I hoops for three season.

His next oldest brother, Jordan, has played two seasons with the University of Illinois football team as a walk-on after success in football, basketball and baseball at CHS.

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