Boys Basketball: KMS soph is a star in the making

·4 min read

Dec. 17—KERKHOVEN — It's not often that a sophomore class has an impact on a varsity basketball team. But for Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg, four sophomores have done just that.

One name in particular, DeAndre Holloway, has grown almost as fast as his offseason growth spurt.

After playing on the junior varsity team last season, Holloway, then a freshman, went into the summer of 2021 standing 6 feet, 2 inches.

Now in the 2021-22 boys varsity basketball season, Holloway's first season of varsity basketball, the lengthy and skinny sophomore stands at 6-6.

"I don't know how to explain it. It just happened," Holloway said in regards to his growth spurt. "I didn't really notice it, but everyone else did."

Despite coming off the bench, Holloway has proved himself to be a potential centerpiece for the Saints in his first few games as a varsity basketball player.

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In the Saints' 84-79 overtime loss to CMCS (5-0) on Thursday, Holloway finished with nine points.

Prior to Thursday against MACCRAY (5-1), Holloway posted 10 points, five steals and three blocks.

The youngster really showed his potential on Dec. 6 in the Saints' 63-52 win over Canby (1-2) Holloway notched a double-double, scoring 20 points and totaling 15 rebounds. He also recorded three steals.

For some players, a quick growth spurt takes some time to get adjusted to, especially at the varsity level. But, in Holloway's words, it's been quite the opposite.

"It's been easy because I spent a lot of time in the gym and I played a lot of basketball during the offseason," he said.

KMS head coach Matt Fragodt says Holloway is a jack of all trades for the Saints.

"He's just someone that can kind of do everything," Fragodt said. "He can guard a guard, he can score, can shoot, defend, dribble, rebound. His length just helps him tremendously and he has a good sense of where the ball is going to be.

"He is kind of a ball hawk. When somebody shoots the ball, if we miss it, there's a good chance that he's going to go in and get the offensive rebounds."

Nevertheless, Fragodt believes that Holloway's youthfulness sometimes shows at the varsity level.

"He's still a 10th grader so we're working with him constantly trying to improve on his individual athleticism and knowing the game of basketball because he's still young," he said. "But being a true student of the game, he just understands the game and it helps him out a lot.

It's fun to see him succeed and everything like that. And he still has lots to work on in practice and in games and everything."

Holloway's love for the game can easily be seen both on and off the court.

"He's always in the gym playing basketball and he always has a basketball with him wherever he goes," Fragodt said. "He is just constantly working his butt off trying to improve."

Holloway added by saying, "Basketball means a lot to me because my whole family played it and if I didn't play it, I don't know what I'd be doing right now."

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The sophomore may have just started to make a name for himself in KMS, but he's not new to the school, having moved from Benson three years prior.

The transition was not easy for the then seventh-grader, having to adjust to different schedules, different scenery and different people.

The only thing that seemingly didn't change was basketball. When the opportunity arose for Holloway to play, the youthful teenager wasted no time in signing up.

Never wanting to leave the gym, Holloway's skill set, height, and his love for the game, rose drastically within a short amount of time.

"I just try to play aggressively and play as a team," he said. "I try to be a true team player."

This season Holloway joins sophomores Jared Cortez, Hunter Kallstrom and Malakai Lee on the varsity roster.

"My teammates are amazing," he said. "They support everybody and talk positively about everything. Even if you feel like you played badly, they're ready to pick you up."

Currently, KMS stands at 2-3, but could be a potential force with the help of the lengthy sophomore, and the eventual return of the Saints' star player in Alex Call, the Saints' star player who was known for scoring 20-30 points a game. Call is currently healing from a torn meniscus surgery.

"It sounds like he is three-four weeks out," Fragodt said. "So right towards the end of January, we're expecting that he'll be able to come back."

Fragodt has high hopes for the Saints per Calls' return.

"I think that's just going to help (Holloway) more and I think we're also going to have a strong offensive team," Fragodt said. "Hopefully everyone stays healthy and if we do that I think that we can compete with pretty much any team on any given night."

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