Fourth Estate Sports Editor Kristi Anable
When Paul Hewitt signed on to coach the Mason men’s basketball team in May 2011, he needed a shooter. So, he turned straight away to longtime acquaintance and AAU coach, Keith Stevens, who gave him one name: Patrick Holloway.
“I actually started recruiting him before I even saw him play a high school game,” said Hewitt. “And, we were fortunate enough to get him.”
An impressive resume helped attract recruiters like Hewitt to Holloway. As a high school player at Paul VI, Holloway received All-Met honors his junior year. The following season, he earned the Washington Post All-Met Player of the Year award as a senior. The same season saw Holloway named Virginia Independent School Player of the Year and a first-team All-Washington Catholic Athletic Conference selection while helping lead his team to a 35-3 record, and the conference city and state titles.
Holloway began playing basketball at the age of four when his father put him in a recreation league in Stafford, VA. He played basketball his freshman year at Colonial Forge high school. It was when his older brother graduated that Holloway decided to transfer to private school. He chose Paul VI in Fairfax for his sophomore year of high school – a switch that challenged Holloway on and off the court.
“When I first got to Paul VI, it was very different and very confusing for me, because private school basketball is much more intense than public school basketball,” said Holloway. “So, I had a lot of trouble, especially being away from home and my friends, and everything was new for me.”
Under his Paul VI high school coach, Glenn Farello, Holloway bought into a new system and began to grow as a basketball player.
“I was kind of fighting the system with him, but he stuck with me. And once I gave into his system, things turned out a lot better for me,” Holloway said. “Glenn Farello is my mentor and someone I look up to and I know I can talk to for advice.”
So, adjustments had to be made and Holloway worked for it. Over the course of his high school playing days, Farello recalled countless times he sat silently courtside waiting, when Holloway stayed in the gym hours after practice finished – just shooting.
His commitment to put in the extra work translated to winning games for his team in the final moments several times in his high school career. Holloway continued to progress – even earning himself a nickname in the process.
“We used to call him the assassin – he would just hit big shots, time and time and time again. He’s very competitive and he really works at his craft,” Farello said. “He’s dedicated to it, and he’s committed to it. So, it’s been fun to watch his development.”
Now, in his sophomore season at Mason, spectators are just starting to see Holloway’s potential. Currently, he is shooting over 43 percent from beyond the arc, and averaging 8.9 points per game – a significant improvement from last season.
“I expect to see him continue to grow and continue to get better – from freshman to sophomore, it’s very similar to what I saw. He’s still an underclassman, so I’m looking forward to see what he does with it. But, I know he’s motivated to keep working,” Farello said. “It’s a process and it takes time. He’s still got a ways to go, and he understands that – and that’s what I like about him – is that he’s willing to listen and wants to get better.”
Holloway has also been paying close attention to seniors Sherrod Wright and Bryon Allen, motivated to match their success.
“The reason my shots have been falling a lot more recently, is because I’ve been shooting before practice and after practice and I’ve just been doing a lot more than I was. Something that has inspired me to do that is Sherrod Wright, because I see him do that just about every day,” Holloway said. “I do the best I can to work up to their work ethic.”
Holloway continues to work and improve as a player under Hewitt. And, Hewitt already sees the impact Holloway can have on a game.
“He’s doing what we’re asking of him. He had some really big games his freshman year, and he’s starting to put together some big games here in his sophomore year. The one thing he’s always been is a clutch player,” Hewitt said. “Even last year when he was a freshman, when he had his ups and downs – late game situations, he’s making shots. And, he had a reputation of that in high school and he’s developed that reputation here at Mason.”