Posted On: 12/31/17 11:29 AM
Winning a championship is the goal of every team in their respective sport. Once a team accomplishes that feat, repeating as champions can be the most difficult challenge there is. That’s what the Perry Hall Gators faced coming into their 2017-18 season. After winning the 4A state title last season, they experienced a turnover in their roster graduating three key seniors. Fortunately, they returned their 6’9 twin tower forwards in Laquill Hardnett and Anthony Higgs to go along with their lead guard Tyler Holley.
Holley is often times referred to as the heartbeat of the Gators team because of the maximum effort and passion that he displays on the court at all times. Those intangibles to go along with his pure skill on the floor, it makes for a valuable piece to their championship hopes once again. The Gators faced one of the hardest schedules in the state early on and have fallen to a 2-3 overall record
“We’re still working on filling the void that were left from last year’s team,” Holley told Prep Hoops. “We have guys like Anthony Walker, D.J. Cloude and Xavier Gravette who we’re still trying to get into the mix and trying to find our chemistry. That’s the biggest thing for us is finding our chemistry and it’s been tough because our first couple games have been our hardest games.”
Holley played the majority of his minutes off the ball last season, but with the depth at point guard begin very slim, he has found himself filling that role for a large portion of games. He knew that coming into this season, so this spring/summer during his time with 17U Team Melo Red, he not only worked on his point guard skills, but also his leadership overall.
“I definitely wanted to work on my leadership,” Holley claimed “I’m still working on it, but I feel as though I’m doing a better job leading, calming us down and making sure we’re doing everything right.”
Holley has great size at 6’4 with long arms. His athleticism allows him to finish above the rim almost every time in transition. He’ll occasionally pull up for a jumper, but Holley knows he shines brightest slashing to the rim. Off the ball offensively, Holley is solid at finding open seams in the defense to allow his teammate to find him for easy looks.
Defensively, Holley has good lateral movement and anticipates moves or passes well. Because of his long arms, he’s able to disrupt lackadaisical passes and spark fastbreak opportunities for his team. When it comes to hustle plays, there aren’t many times when the ball is rolling on the floor that you’ll find Holley standing upright. He automatically hits the deck and looks to battle for each possession.
Holley is also a standout on the gridiron. For the Gators this season, the quarterback passed for 2,770 yards that included 34 touchdowns and just one interception. Over the last few weeks, he’s received over a handful of Division II scholarship offers for football. With that being said, Holley is still very open to playing basketball at the next level.
“I haven’t had too much on the basketball front, but I’m hoping it’ll pick up as the games continue,” Holley said about his recruitment. “I’ll know for sure what I want to do after our basketball season ends, but until then, my recruitment remains wide open.”