Hollins Explains His Path in Basketball
Ryan Hollins is one of the NBA players to have a decade of action despite being drafted way back in the order. The NBA veteran talked about how he went on to discover his unlikely talent in the game and how he found his motivation to continue playing basketball.
Hollins grew up in Pasadena and didn’t really look like he was going to play basketball. He wasn’t aware why his father built a hoop in their backyard, and he was shooting hoops on it since then.
His early memory in the game was seeing Shaquille O’Neal going toe-to-toe against Hakeem Olajuwon in one of the best centre showdowns in the league back in the 1995 NBA Finals. He wanted to be like them, and he and his dad were pitting the two players against each other.
He did not expect it to be his form later on. He based his play on the two players, and with the UCLA Bruins winning the national title in the same year, he wanted to be a part of that team and it got him hooked to the game.
Growing up, he developed his talent as he was somehow taught by his father. He learned quickly by playing street ball as well, and he adapted to the conditions and the environment that the game presented.
His growth spurt eventually saw him stand at 6-foot-5. He was tall for a guard, and that seemed to be the only problem that he had as a small kid who suddenly became a giant in college. He used his size to gain an advantage over his opponents, and he was really good at it.
Hollins was drafted no. 50 overall by the Charlotte Bobcats in the 2006 NBA Draft. It was quite disappointing for any player to be drafted so long, and Hollins admitted that it felt tough for him. He later realised that it was alright for him to be drafted late because it didn’t matter in the long run.
‘Yeah, draft night was fairly stressful for me. My agent told me that I could go anywhere from 10th in the draft to 50th, realistically. I had tested well, I was strong, I jumped well, I benched well, I made jump shots’, Hollins explained. ‘I was really blowing through a lot of these workouts. I didn’t know where I would go, and my name drops all the way to the 50th pick’.
It was a crazy thing for him to sit there and wait for his name to be called without any assurance. He was actually drafted during a commercial on national television. It was frustrating at first, but then he thought that it was for the better good.
He later became one of the best players to play in the game. It was not about how long it took him to be drafted, but it was more of how he would show his game when he is given the chance to shine bright.
That didn’t bother him as he improved his play to show his worth. He stayed in the league for ten years, and if someone would ask him how it turned out, it seemed that it was totally worth it for him.
Words: Paul Daniel Flores