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Oct, 2019

Stock Rising For Millennium Forward

(By: Antonio G. Castillo)

Before arriving last week in Colorado Springs, 6'8" junior forward DaRon Holmes (Millennium HS) had already seen his recruitment sky rocket, with recent offers coming in from Virginia, Texas A&M, Oklahoma, and Illinois. Adding to an impressive list of college programs after him. 
He's currently one of three prospects hailing from the state of Arizona who are competing at the USA Basketball National Junior Teams training camp in Colorado. Multiple national writers and recruiting outlets have been quick to note him as one of the consistent and top performers in camp.
In between sessions, we caught up with the 4-star prospect who just learned two weeks ago, that he was being invited to USA Basketball.
"It's been challenging. Everybody up here is really good. Coming in as a 4 star recruit I want to prove myself. It's really difficult, very challenging, defensively and offensively. There are some ballers out here. Everybody up here is really good at something. It's just a good experience and making me better," said Holmes. 

After a productive summer, showcasing his athleticism, willingness to run the floor, and an improved ability to show signs and flashes that he can face up from the wing, attack off the bounce, and even connect on a set perimeter shot, Holmes has quickly become a top national prospect, on the verge of 5-star status.

His offer list consists of: Arizona, Arizona State, USC, Texas Tech, Texas A&M, Marquette, Kansas, Virginia, and several other high major programs who are vying for his commitment. 

Just last week he took his first official visit to Marquette, as the Big East program did open his eyes on what they have to offer.
"I was very surprised because I wasn't expecting to be how it was. The way they treat each other is really nice. I like the way they play. The coaches get along really well with the players and students. I had never been up there before in my life. They just started recruiting me." 
With his recruitment now full blown into overdrive, it seems there's a news headline, or report of another offer  every other day for Holmes. Staying busy with USA Basketball, then getting ready for the upcoming high school season, it can certainly get hectic.
"It can go both ways. It is really nice to have these coaches texting me. Programs are reaching out, trying to get me to play for their school. On the flip side it's very busy, having to keep up with messages, calls, and contacts," said Holmes.
With the new changes to recruiting, juniors can now use 5 official visits, out of their total of 15. DaRon is planning on using all five this year, and at some point or another has already made plans to visit Texas Tech, Kansas, USC, and Virginia before the year is out. As for the in state schools, ASU and U of A, because of their close proximity, he won't use official visits as he's already been to both campuses multiple times.
As a 6'8" prospect, currently Holmes is projected as a 4 man at the next level. He sees the areas of growth where he can expand on his game. Showing versatility at 6'8", with a near 7'0" wingspan, and the ability to potentially play away from the basket, is certainly one area he's looking to improve.
"Personally I've been trying to develop into a wing player because of how much bigger players are. At the USA camp dudes are huge, 7'0" centers. When I get to college I'm going to work on being a wing player and also playing in the post. Basketball is so position-less now a days. It's good to know a little bit about every position."
As the high school season gets ramped up, DaRon and his teammates will look to take the next step, after finishing as the State Runner-up in 5A last season.
"Number one, we're looking at a championship. We want to get better as a team and as a program. Play really well together, we play some really tough teams this year, become students of the game, and do what we have to win," said Holmes. "I really enjoy the team. I do have some personal goals, but after this USA camp I realize that there's some really good competition out there. It's going to be difficult, but I have to battle through that adversity, make sure I get better. I might not be a McDonald's All-American, but I am sure gonna get better." 
With a humble, respectful attitude, combined with his work ethic and drive, it will be no surprise to see Holmes climb even further in the national rankings, and become an even more coveted prospect, coast to coast. Look for the 6'8" big to be in serious contention to make the final cut at the USA training camp, and be an integral part in the success of the Tigers this coming season.