North Texas Daily

Freshman standout Holmes making immediate impact after historic high school career

Freshman standout Holmes making immediate impact after historic high school career

December 06
12:58 2017

While fans see freshman Lauren Holmes shine on the court, it’s what she does out of the spotlight that’s made her a special player early in her collegiate career.

Holmes is a big part of the North Texas women’s basketball team’s offensive attack. When she isn’t at her best, the Mean Green tend to struggle. Against Texas A&M – International earlier this season, Holmes was held to eight points in a North Texas win.

But what was more frustrating for the freshman was her 0-for-3 mark from the 3-point line.

Instead of waiting for the team’s next practice to tweak her shot, Holmes was back on the court after the game for nearly 30 minutes taking shots from behind the arc.

“She’s not your typical freshman,” head coach Jalie Mitchell said.  “She looks like she’s been here before and that comes with confidence.  She’s in the gym and doing the things she is suppose to do to have a great career.”

It doesn’t come as much of a surprise that Holmes already knows what it takes to be a successful player. She joined the Mean Green after being named the 2017 Arkansas Female Athlete of the Year and the Fayetteville native won a total of nine state championships in her prep career.

While basketball is her sport of choice these days, it wasn’t always that way. Holmes didn’t start playing until fourth grade – but she fell in love with the game right away.

Holmes was a standout in both track and basketball while playing volleyball her senior year as well. Her nine state titles in four years is part of what caught college coaches’ attention in the recruiting process.

“It shows that all the hard work pays off,” Holmes said. “The countless hours in the weight room, in the gym, running stadiums [and] all of that. I was spoiled in my career because I didn’t lose a lot of games. So losing really doesn’t set well with me.”

That mindset fits in nicely with Mitchell as one of the all-time greatest players at North Texas continues to mold the program into her image. Mitchell, who is now entering her third year as the team’s head coach, hopes Holmes will carry that winning tradition on to the Mean Green.

“At my high school every sport was extremely passionate about every sport, which is why we were so successful,” Holmes said. “At my high school we didn’t take losing lightly, and I want to bring that same feeling here. You really got to love the game and love winning to be really successful.”

North Texas has turned out to be the perfect home for Holmes as her connection with her teammates and coaching staff as well as the campus is already growing strong.

“The coaches and my teammates always help me to realize that I am still just a freshman and I have a lot to learn,” Holmes said.  “They are all encouraging and make it like a family environment. They honestly made the adjustment really easy. They are easy to get along with and caring. I just want to be myself around them.”

One of the players who has helped Holmes transition to the Division I level is redshirt junior Terriell Bradley. Bradley is the only returning starter from last year’s squad and is a strong mentor for Holmes early in her career.

“Lauren gives the same effort and energy all the time,” Bradley said.  “No matter what, she is out giving 100 percent effort.”

That effort has already begun to show. And with the Mean Green off to a strong start to the year, Holmes will continue to be an important piece of the team’s future.

“Basketball is my get away from any problems in life,” Holmes said. “It gives me genuine joy and every other emotion you could possibly imagine. It teaches you lots of lessons. The motivation is mostly for myself to prove to myself how good I can really be.

“I want to prove to ourselves and others that we are a great team and can shock people with how good we can be.”

Featured Image: Freshman guard Lauren Holmes recorded a double-double in her first career start, against Mid-America Christian University. Holmes finished with 20 points and 12 rebounds against MACU. Rachel Walters

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Malik Wright

Malik Wright

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