Player of the Year: Adante Holiman, McAlester

DEREK HATRIDGE | Staff photo

Adante Holiman made headlines as he's committed to the University of Tulsa. But one of the things he's most grateful for this season is getting to step on the hardwood with his teammates and family.

Adante Holiman knows how to find his zone before a game.

The McAlester junior has a simple pre-game ritual — he pushes shuffle on a music playlist consisting entirely of J. Cole songs and works on his jump shot.

“Really just getting my jump shot together, because that’s the main thing. That’s one of the strongest parts of my game,” Holiman said. “So it’s mainly just getting that right, and if it happens to be on that night, then I feel like I’m going to have a good night.”

That mentality before games led to production on both ends of the floor, and to Holiman being named the 2021 McAlester News-Capital All-Area Boys Basketball Player of the Year.

Speaking more on his jump shot, Holiman said he knows the exact moment when he can tell he’s going to have a high-scoring game — when he makes his second shot.

“Most of the time, that first one doesn’t go in. But if the second one goes in, I think it’s going to be a good night,” Holiman said. “Almost every game I miss that first shot.”

Holiman said he enjoys the fast-paced style on the hardwood, and uses his speed and agility to weave circles through opposing defenses. His successes have led to a lot of recognition as well, with the Buff recently verbally committing to play college basketball at the University of Tulsa after graduation next year.

But he admitted that recognition like that comes at a bit of a price when he faces another team.

“I know people are going to be coming at my neck even more now, just because they see I’ve committed,” Holiman said. “They’re already coming at me, but now even more.”

But beyond the accolades and college commitments, Holiman is especially proud of how he’s grown as a player and fulfilling a duty as an upperclassman to help do everything he can to see his team succeed.

“(It’s) More of being a leader and leading my team, and just kind of helping the guys,” Holiman said. “And rebounding the ball more. I rebounded good this year for once because my dad was on me about it.”

But the thing Holiman said he is probably most grateful for this season is getting to spend time with his family on the hardwood. Not only are his father and grandfather on the bench coaching him, but he’s been able to be a teammate to his younger brother and two cousins — with a familial bond stronger than steel.

And in that situation, Holiman said he is truly blessed and grateful to get to experience that for just a little while longer.

“It’s great,” Holiman said. “It's just trying to take those moments in.”

Contact Derek Hatridge at dhatridge@mcalesternews.com.

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