When he was a freshman at Messalonskee High School, Jordon Holmes didn’t make the varsity basketball team. When he was a sophomore, he played on the varsity sparingly. Disappointments became motivation.
“Not that I expected anything,” Holmes said. “It was just more fuel to the fire. That right there put me on my grind, to work and work.”
A gym rat, Holmes continued to work on his game, and he recently capped a senior season in which he helped the Eagles win 13 games, one of their most successful season in recent years.
Holmes will represent Messalonskee one final time when he plays in the McDonald’s Senior All-Star Game on Saturday at Husson College’s Newman Gymnasium in Bangor. Holmes will play in the Boys A/B game at 2:30 p.m.
“It’s a great honor. Only so many kids get selected each year. It’s special,” Holmes said.
Holmes averaged 16.1 points per game this season, fifth-best in the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class A. He was second in the league in 3-pointers, averaging 2.3 per game, and averaged 3.2 assists per game. This season, in addition to hit long-range shot, Holmes improved his move off the dribble, and that enabled him to get to the rim for easy buckets or free throws.
“He increased his range and became an all-around basketball player, and one of the best in our conference,” Messalonskee coach Peter McLaughlin said. “This year, it was being aggressive and taking guys off the dribble and getting to the rim. He was always a great shooter, but getting to the rim was key. Getting to the foul line and being that all around scorer.”
Holmes said he plays with a chip on his shoulder, and McLaughlin agreed.
“He likes that competition. He likes that, â€˜you’re in front of me and you’re trying to stop me from that goal,’ ” McLaughlin said.
McLaughlin said Holmes was at his best against some of the best competition in the KVAC, and pointed to a January game against Bangor as an example. Playing against Bangor’s Xavier Lewis, who will join Holmes on the East A/B squad Saturday, he scored 23 points and had five assists. Holmes’ layup with under 30 seconds to play was the winning basket in a 69-67 victory for the Eagles.
The McDonald’s game is the second all-star game for Holmes this week. On Tuesday, he played in the KVAC A senior all-star game at Thomas College.
“It’s fun. Most of us play AAU together. I know most of the kids, so we get along,” Holmes said. “It’s fun just getting out and running. It’s fun to see everyone after the season. No one’s mad at anyone.”
Holmes hopes to continue his basketball career in college. He’s attend Husson, Colby-Sawyer, or Merrimack.
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A number of central Mainers will take part in the McDonald’s all-star games. Joining Holmes on the East A/B team are Andrew Cartright of Nokomis and Trevor Lovely of Winslow. Valley’s Dylan Belanger will play for the West in the C/D game.
The East A/B girls team features Messalonskee’s Kelsey Mayo, Miranda Nicely of Mt. Blue, Anna MacKenzie and Taylor Shaw of Nokomis, and Skowhegan’s Morgan Buker.
The West C/D girls roster includes Mercedes Welch of Carrabec, Kori Coro of Forest Hills, Cristie Vicneire and Kirsten Wood of Madison, and Teagan Laweryson of Valley.
The A/B girls will play at 9:15 a.m., with the C/D girls game at 11 a.m. The C/D boys tip off at 12:45 p.m., with the days finale the A/B boys at 2:30 p.m.