Coming to Binghamton
Andrea Holmes starred at Mitchell
High School in Tennessee, where she graduated in 2008. As a senior,
she averaged 24 points, seven assists, four rebounds and two
steals per game. A five-year letter winner, a three-year captain,
and league and district MVP, Holmes had an impressive resume
even before coming to Binghamton. She has only skyrocketed since.
Not only did she play basketball in high school, she also played
softball and track as well. When asked how she got into playing
basketball, Holmes replied, "It's kind of funny actually.
I'm the oldest child in my family, making me the oldest grandchild,
so when I was growing up I didn't have a lot of kids my age to
play with. But I had nine uncles and a dad and I was always
trying to tag along with them. Their hang out spot was the park,
which had a basketball court, and one day my dad threw me a basketball
and that was the end of that."
BU recognized Holmes's blossoming talent. Assistant Coach Bernitha
Johnson spent nearly two years recruiting her. Coach Johnson
gives her first impression of Holmes: "Andrea got my attention
because of her demeanor and the way she carries herself. As a
point guard, to make good decisions and be under such control
no matter what pressure or what came at her, and that's always
a great characteristic to have in a point guard."
|On the Rise
In her freshmen season, Holmes was named the America East Conference
Rookie of the Year, a third-team all-conference selection, as
selected the America East Rookie of the Week four times. Holmes
ranked second on the team with 10.0 points per game, becoming
the first Binghamton freshman to average double figures in scoring
in six years.
Her second year, Holmes led the team with 13.3 points and 4.7
assists per game, earning a second-team America East All-Conference
selection last year. Making all 30 starts and playing over 37
minutes per game, she powered the team, reaching double figures
in scoring 18 times and ranking in the top ten conference stats
for points, assists, and three-point field goals.
Coach Johnson explains that this is because Holmes came in with
the mentality of a scorer. "(Andrea) wants to score and
she has showed already that she can score. She wants to have
the ball in her hands with the seconds running down, she wants
to take the big shots and she has taken them, winning games for
us, tying games for us," said Coach Johnson.
Earlier this fall, in the conference
preseason poll, the Bearcats were tabbed third in the America
East. Meanwhile, Holmes had already been recognized across the
conference as a force to be reckoned with. She was one of three
players unanimously chosen to the America East Preseason All-Conference
This season, Holmes has again shown herself to be a driving force
on the team. She is currently ranked first in the conference
in scoring (15.4 ppg.), assists (4.3 apg.) and steals (2.6) Holmes
moved into fifth-place in the Binghamton program's career assist
list. She also just moved into 19th place all time for scoring
in program history.
This year as the Bearcats head into conference play, the coaches
have high expectations for Holmes. Coach Johnson said, "This
year is going to be a big year for her because all she can do
is challenge herself. She's accomplished so much already, but
I'm telling her everyday that she can be better than what she
has become, so she has to challenge herself."
Holmes certainly had many highlights over her past two seasons
as a Bearcat. For Holmes, she says that her most memorable moment
so far was winning the America East Rookie of the Year award
her freshmen year.
"It was a really good moment," said Holmes. "My
team was there to cheer me on as I accepted the award I felt
like everyone was very proud of me."
Now, Holmes has her sights set on a new goal. "Rookie of
the Year was good, but hopefully I get Player of the Year and
that will be another memorable moment."
Setting the Bar High
Pegged to finish amongst the top in conference, the Bearcats
are ready and eager to take up the challenge. As a result, the
team has set their standards high.
"As a team, I think everyone wants to play their roles to
perfection, do what's expected of them as a player and as a person.
Be good leaders and good followers," Holmes said. "Another
team goal we have will be to finish third or above because we
were picked to finish third in preseason."
Ranked third as preseason play continues, the Bearcats are looking
to put up a strong fight this year.
Taking up her coach's advice, Holmes raises the bar for herself
as well. Holmes said, "My personal goal is to overachieve.
I would very much like to win Player of the Year award in the
America East. Hopefully lead this team to an America East championship."
Coach Johnson wants Holmes to push herself to be the best that
she can be. She explains one of the goals, "One of the
most important things I want to her do this year is lower her
turnovers. Be even more of a controlled and smart player, even
better than she has been for the past two years."
An Inside Look
Between classes, schoolwork, work, practice, and the Bearcats
27-game regular season, Holmes is a very busy student-athlete.
When asked how she spent her free time, Holmes said, "That's
actually my favorite question. I like to watch movies, listen
to music, I'm a big music fan, I like to dance, hang out with
friends, and just relax. I'm pretty much to myself most of the
time so those are things I like to do alone, except for the hang
out with friends part," she joked.
Growing up, Holmes looked up to her Aunt Shaun as a role model.
From an early age, she made sure that Holmes always had her
priorities straight. Holmes said, "A big role model of
mine would be my Aunt Shaun. She was a big influential person
in my life because she stressed academics more than athletics
so its important for me to succeed in her eyes and she's the
kind of person that sets goals and expectations very, very high.
And she is not the kind of person that you want to disappoint."
The path to Binghamton University was not an easy one. But now
that she's here, she's making quite a stir. Holmes says that
her favorite part of Binghamton is the Events Center, where the
Bearcats play their home games. Holmes said, "It's a really
great environment. We get a lot of fans and its big and loud
and just a good place to be. The fans are great."
A PPL major (Philosophy, Politics and Law) Holmes has a strong
focus on her academics and is already considering her future.
She hopes to continue her studies in law. Holmes said, "I
want to go to law school to become a lawyer, maybe be a paralegal,
climb that political ladder and see where it takes me. That's
my first option. If I'm not able to continue playing basketball
Like the rest of her team, her coaches, and even the fans, Holmes
is looking forward to this season.
"This season is going to be very interesting because we
have a lot of good vets coming back and a lot of good freshmen
coming in. The team chemistry is looking very good right now
in practice, everyone is getting along, learning how to play
with each other. I feel really good," said Holmes.
Coach Johnson said, "We really need Andrea to be the glue,
if things are falling apart she gets the team together, calms
them down. She has started to do an amazing job of that already
Head Coach Nicole Scholl said of Holmes, "I love her competitive
attitude and her competitive spirit so its fun to see when that
comes out as well. We're very much excited to see her perform
and what she has to do this year."
Coach Johnson sums up Holmes in a phrase, "I want her to
allow her personality to come out more, allow it to shine. Let
other people learn about Andrea Holmes, to lead them forth. She's
a small little player with a big heart."