UCLA’s Aaron Holiday named to Wooden Award midseason top-25 watch list
LOS ANGELES — Aaron Holiday, UCLA’s junior guard and the youngest of the Holiday clan, will likely never escape the shadow of his NBA brothers. Instead, he uses it to his advantage.
The 6-foot-1 guard from Campbell Hall High trained with his older brothers Jrue, a former UCLA guard now with the New Orleans Pelicans, and Justin, with the Chicago Bulls, this summer, setting Holiday up for a starring role in Westwood. He’s carried on the family name well this year, leading the Bruins in scoring this season while being named to the midseason top-25 watch list for the John R. Wooden Award on Thursday before UCLA’s game against Utah at Pauley Pavilion.
“That just teaches me to always work hard,” Holiday said of working with his brothers. “On the basketball mindset, just basically knowing what plays to make at the right time. Obviously, they’re both pretty much guards in the league, so I can just watch them and see what I need to do and just learn from that.”
The stats are there for Holiday, whose older sister Lauren also played basketball at UCLA. He leads the Bruins in scoring with 19.4 points per game and his 5.3 assists per game rank second in the Pac-12. He is one of only six players in the country averaging at least 19 points and five assists per game. He passed the 1,000-career point mark last month against Washington State, becoming just the 55th member of that exclusive club at UCLA.
But Holiday’s greatest strides this year can’t be measured in a box score.
“Where Aaron has grown the most is in his leadership and his accountability and his responsibility,” Bruins head coach Steve Alford said. “His skill and his demeanor, that’s always been at an elite level. I think what now has become […]