Future Watch: Aaron Holiday Rookie Basketball Cards, Pacers – Aaron Holiday was born in Rouston, Louisiana in 1996. His parents, Shawn and Toya Holiday both played college basketball at Arizona State. In 1982, Toya was named Pac-10 Player of the Year. Aaron attended Campbell Hall High School in Los Angeles and started all four years. In his freshman season, he led the team in scoring with 24.3 points per game. In his junior season, he averaged 28.9 points, 8.5 rebounds and 6.0 assists. He was named Los Angeles Daily News Player of the Year.
In Holiday’s senior season, he helped lead Campbell Hall to its first sectional and California regional final since 2008. He would once again earn LA Daily News Player of the Year honors. Scout.com, Rivals and ESPN all ranked Holiday inside their top 100 college recruits. Aaron wouldn’t have to travel far to join an elite college program. He committed to UCLA and would play three seasons for the Bruins.
Holiday increased his scoring in each season with the Bruins. He began his college career as a starter, and played in all 32 games for the Bruins as a freshman. As a sophomore, he moved to the bench to become UCLA’s sixth man. Holiday showed willingness to come off the bench and thrived in the role. When starter Lonzo Ball went down with a hip injury in UCLA’s opening game of the NCAA tournament, Holiday stepped up. He scored 15 points and handed out a career high 11 assists to help the Bruins defeat Kent State 97-80. UCLA would go on to lose to Kentucky in the sweet-16. On the year, Holiday averaged 12.3 points and 4.4 assists. He received honorable mention for the Pac-12 All-Defensive Team.
Holiday would declare for the 2017 NBA draft, but he did not hire an agent. He would eventually withdraw his name to retain his college eligibility. In his junior season, Holiday returned to his starting role at point guard. He would lead the Pac-12 in scoring with 20.3 points per game, and ranked second with 5.8 assists. Holiday was the school’s first player to average at least 20 points per game since Ed O’Bannon in 1994-95 and the first player to lead the conference in scoring since Reggie Miller in 1985-86. Holiday was voted third-team All-American by the Sporting News, and also earned All-Pac-12 First Team honors. After his junior season, Aaron Holiday declared himself eligible for the 2018 draft.
The biggest critique of Aaron Holiday heading into the draft was his height. Measuring 6’1” in shoes, he’s on the small side when it comes to NBA point guards. He makes up for that with a solid set of skills and a tremendous family pedigree. His brothers Justin and Jrue Holiday are proven NBA veterans. As a ballhandler and playmaker, Aaron can set up teammates in full and half-court sets. He shot 42% from behind the arc in college and has a comfortable release off the dribble and catch. For UCLA, he earned a reputation as a tenacious defender who would often cover the top opponent. At 6’1”, he’s going to get pushed around by bigger guards in the NBA. If he can add strength and play to his skills, he’ll join his brothers as a tenured veteran in the league.
On draft night, the Indiana Pacers selected Aaron Holiday with the 23rd overall pick. His playing time has been up and down. Through 58 games, Holiday has played in 37 while averaging 11.8 minutes. When injuries have popped up on the Pacers roster, Holiday has stepped up and played well. His best game came in a 121-94 win over the Jazz on November 19th. He played 21 minutes and scored 19 points on 7-of-10 shots from the floor.
The Pacers are firmly settled as a top five seed in the Eastern Conference playoff picture. Despite losing star shooting guard Victor Oladipo to a season ending injury, the team is still very deep at guard. This will probably keep Holiday from seeing 20 minutes a night in the final third of the season. Now is the time to add his rookie cards to your collection. The Pacers see Holiday as a part of their future. He’ll see more time on the court as a sophomore and put up more consistent numbers. Fans in Indiana know what they have in their exciting backup point guard, don’t wait for the rest of the collecting community to catch up!
Holiday appears in his UCLA Bruins uniform in 2018 Panini Contenders Draft Picks and Flawless Collegiate basketball. As a top draft pick, expect to find plenty of his rookie cards in Panini’s 2018-19 catalog of NBA basketball products. Look for his certified autographs in Crown Royale, Contenders, Donruss Optic, Hoops, Absolute Memorabilia and more!
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