St. Joe’s Hollins playing key role off bench
Now, all of those juniors from a year ago are seniors and have led the Marauders to a fast 3-1 start to the 2012 season. However, even with 10 seniors on the roster, it’s been the play of a junior that has provided a spark to the team in the early going.
Justin Hollins is a first-year varsity player who has been coming off the bench for the Marauders in their first four games to provide some points and help on the boards.
Averaging almost seven points and three rebounds per game with fluctuating playing time, Hollins has come off the bench and provided his team with quality minutes at crucial moments.
None bigger than in the team’s season-opening contest against Kenmore West when Hollins scored the game-winning layup with seconds left in double-overtime to give St. Joseph’s a 63-61 victory.
Although he hasn’t put up the same numbers — 12 points and three rebounds in the three games since the season opener, Hollins’ play has still caught the eyes of his teammates.
“Justin a tremendous junior that can step in and play big minutes,” said senior Jordan Glover. “When he comes in and gets good buckets and rebounds and play some defense in clutch minutes, it helps us a lot being the young player that he is. He just helps the seniors out a lot on the defensive and offensive ends.”
The most impressive aspect to Hollins’ game according to his teammates is the fact that he gives 110 percent effect each and every time he’s on the court.
Senior guard Louis Oliveri believes that Hollins is arguably one of, in not, the most athletic players he’s seen, and it shows in his play.
“When he crashes the boards he’s either getting his hand on it or he’s definitely getting the rebound,” he said. “We just look to him. He’s a hustler and he gets his points all off hustle plays. I respect him for that.”
Marauders head coach Mark Simon sees the hustle that Oliveri talks about, and just knows how good Hollins can be for his team.
“He finishes and he’s extremely athletic. I said at the beginning of the season that he was going to open some eyes of people here in Western New York even if he doesn’t get a lot of the minutes,” Simon said.
And while Hollins appreciates all of the kind words that his coach and teammates bestowed upon him, he says that he would be nowhere if it wasn’t for the play of his teammates, specifically Glover.
“I can’t do what I do with my point guard (Glover),” he said. “He just finds me and gets me the ball. I give all my thanks to him.”