“Never Say Never” has got to be Justin Holiday’s mantra if he does have one. After going undrafted in the 2011 NBA draft, Justin Holiday didn’t back down but fought his way up to getting an NBA deal which would eventually lead to him winning the NBA championships in 2015 with the Golden State Warriors, earning the trophy ahead of many of his drafted colleagues.
Though Holiday still struggles with finding a long-term home, he has indeed come a long way in his career which serves as an inspiration to upcoming basketball players who might face the fear of not getting selected in the draft.
Justin Holiday Bio
Justin Alaric Holiday was born on the 5th day of April in 1989, in Mission Hills, California. Like Tyus Jones of the Minnesota Timberwolves, Holiday hails from a family of basketball players. His father, Shawn Holiday, and his mother Toya Holiday (née DeCree) both played college basketball at Arizona State. His mom excelled more in the sports and was in 1982 named the Pac-10 Player of the Year, given to the most outstanding player.
The first son of his parents and blessed with a tall height, Justin sought to follow in the footsteps of his parents and even go beyond what they achieved. He started out his career at Campbell Hall School in Studio City, California. Some of his achievements in the school were helping the team reach a 33-1 record and helping them win the state Class IV championship.
Following high school, Justin Holiday committed to the University of Washington to play with their Huskies men’s team. His freshman year wasn’t near impressive as he managed only a few games. However, Holiday’s college career enjoyed a steady rise as he got better by the year.
In Holiday’s junior season in 2010, he made it to the Pac-10 All-Defensive Team. As a senior, Holiday was alongside future fellow NBA player, Isaiah Thomas named the captain of the Huskies team. Netscouts Basketball would come to name him as their Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year.
After college, Justin hoped to play in the NBA but his dreams didn’t come easily. He was undrafted in the 2011 NBA Draft, thus things were a bit more difficult for him. After a stint in Belgium with the Okapi Aalstar, Holiday got his first NBA deal with the Cavs in October but was waived days later.
Holiday’s woes continued for long. He had short-term deals with the Portland Trail Blazers, Philadelphia 76ers, and the Utah Jazz – the teams all waived him. Still yet to find his footing in the NBA, Holiday returned to Europe in 2014, this time Hungary where he found mild success with the Szolnoki Olaj.
Upon his return to the States, Justin got signed with the Warriors and contributed to the side winning of the 2015 NBA championships against the Cavs. Winning the championships brought an end to Holiday’s constant waiving. Holiday signed his first multi-year deal with the Atlanta Hawks in 2015, however, he didn’t see to the end of the deal as he was traded to the Chicago Bulls. He had a brief stint with the New York Knicks before returning to the Bulls in 2017.
NBA Draft Status
Justin Holiday entered the 2011 NBA draft but unfortunately, he went unselected. Undeterred, he kept the faith, held his head up high, and pressed on with his career. His next step was heading to Europe where he signed with the Okapi Aalstar, a Belgian professional basketball club from Aalst, Belgium. Holiday won the year’s Belgian cup with the side after which he returned to the United States to join the Cleveland Cavaliers for the 2012 NBA Summer League.
By the first of October 2012, he got his first NBA deal with the Cavs. It wasn’t one that lasted beyond the month, but if anything, it gave Holiday the hopes that it was possible for him to be in the NBA. The rest, as they say, is history. 2018 has been a huge year for Holiday as it is his best season since the start of his professional career in 2011. In a game against Miami Heat in January 2018, Holiday scored 25 points including seven 3-pointers to give his side a 119–111 win.
Height, Weight and Other Facts
1. According to Holiday’s player profile on the official website of the National Basketball Association, the small forward stands at a height of 6 feet 6 inches, which is 1.9 m. He weighs 185 lb (83.9 kg).
2. Justin Holiday’s contract with the Chicago Bulls, signed in 2017 was a 2-year deal worth $9 million with all of the money guaranteed. Thus, he earned a base salary of $4.5 million in 2017. He earned $1.9 million between 2015 and 2017.
3. Two of Justin’s younger brothers are also NBA players. Jrue Holiday plays for the New Orleans Pelicans while Aaron Holiday was selected in the 2018 draft by the Indiana Pacers.
4. Justin has one sister named Lauren Holiday who like her brothers, played college basketball for UCLA’s women’s team.
5. Justin is related to two women named Lauren Holiday, the first being his sister and the other Lauren Nicole Holiday, (née Lauren Nicole Cheney), an American retired professional soccer player who is married to his brother Jrue.
6. In 2013, Holiday married Shekinah Holiday (née Siegmund) of Ruston, Louisiana. They welcomed a daughter in November 2017.
7. Holiday is a devout Christian. His favorite scripture is 1 Corinthians 9:24-27.