Jrue Holiday might be on the smaller end of the spectrum as far as basketball players go – he stands just six feet, four inches tall and weighs only 180 pounds.
However, his skills rival those of some of basketball’s giants, as evidenced by the fact that he was an early candidate for the NBA draft after his freshman year at the University of California-Los Angeles.
Holiday was born on June 12, 1990 in Chatsworth, California. He attended high school at Campbell Hall School in North Hollywood. While there, he was molded into a phenomenal player. In his senior year, he averaged 25.9 points and 11.2 rebounds per game and was named the Gatorade Player of the Year. Further, he was named to the 2008 McDonald’s All-American Team, and was ranked as one of the best college recruits in the class of 2008.
In July of 2007, Holiday decided to play basketball for UCLA upon his graduation from high school. He played alongside Darren Collison, who now plays for the Indiana Pacers. During his freshman year, he started in all 36 games and averaged 8.5 points and 3.8 rebounds per game. He was named to the All-Pac-10 Freshman Team and shot 45% from the floor.
In spite of his leadership and success on UCLA’s team, Holiday decided that professional basketball was where he needed to be. Holiday played just one season for UCLA when he was drafted by the Philadelphia ‘76ers in 2009.
He was the 17th overall pick in the 2009 draft. When he accepted the spot with the Sixers, he became the first person born in 1990 to play in the NBA.
He began his NBA career in the Orlando Pro Summer League, where he averaged 8.6 points per game. He started all five games of the summer season.
In his rookie NBA season with the Sixers, Holiday played in 73 games with 51 starts. He averaged 8 points, 1.9 steals and 2.6 rebounds in just 24.2 minutes per game. His shooting percentages were phenomenal.
He shot 44.2% from the floor, and achieved the team high of 39% from the three point range. Further, he shot 75.6% from the free throw line, which undoubtedly influenced the outcome of many games.
On April 3, 2010, Holiday managed to score 25 points against the Toronto Raptors, which became his career high. Currently in the 2011 playoffs, Holiday is averaging 14.2 points per game and will no doubt be instrumental to his team’s performance in the tournament.