Soon to be former UCLA guard Jrue Holiday recently worked out with the Sacrameno Kings. Ailene Voisin from the Sacramento Bee filed a report after Holiday's work out which has some poigant comments from Ben Howland. Coach Howland put on a clinic for coaches leading major revenue college programs on how to handle questions concerning one of his student athletes vying for a spot in a professional draft. Just one word: class:
"He's a good shooter, (adept) at drawing and kicking, penetrating and finishing," Howland said via cell phone. "He can really finish over length. He didn't have the ball as much ... because we had (Darren) Collison back, and in five-on-five, you'll see his greatest strength is his feel for the game. He's an outstanding passer."
Coach Howland didn't stop there in showering praise over Holiday:
Howland, who coached NBA point guards Jordan Farmar and Russell Westbrook, said Holiday's massive hands remind him of another former player. "John Stockton," said Howland, a former Gonzaga assistant.
And here is the most interesting part from that report:
"He had great size and strength," Petrie said. "He shot it really well in the drills. He was really attentive, obviously well coached to this point. He was very good."
That's Geoff Petrie, President of Basketball Operations for the Sacramento Kings. Just file that away in the back of your mind, the next time you read some blowhard talking about how Howland's system holds back players for the next level.
Also, I hope Holiday and his people can take a cue from Coach Howland's words, next time they comment about his experience at UCLA.
It'd be nice if instead of having to hear him whining about how he didn't get to shine because he had to play through the 2 spot or gasp - play - defense - he for once praise his head coach for teaching him how to play defense and how grateful he was for having the opportunity to play basketball under one of the best coaches in America.
As always Coach Howland has been nothing but class. It'd be nice if Holiday and his camp would return the favor publicly towards the head coach and the community that follows the UCLA baskertball program.