Updated: Jun 11
With the USA U16 National Team this summer, 2023 five-star Ron Holland averaged a team-high 19.0 points and 10.2 rebounds in an efficient 21.5 minutes per game at the FIBA U16 Americas Championship in Xalpala, Mexico. A high motor forward who’s relentless on the glass, Holland amassed 21 points and 12 rebounds in the gold medal game against Argentina.
Last year, Holland averaged 13.8 points and 10.1 rebounds and helped Duncanville (TX) win a second-consecutive Texas Class 6A state championship, along with a 29-1 season record. As a junior, he is primed to once again lead the Panthers to the state championship game and has set higher aspirations to compete for a GEICO Nationals berth in 2022. Standing at 6’8 and weighing in at 192 pounds, Holland brings defensive versatility along with elite physical tools and mobility.
As part of the Pro Insight Q&A series, Holland discussed his athletic background, winning gold with USA Basketball at the FIBA U16 Americas, his hobbies including spending time with his two dogs, and more.
For the next installment of the Pro Insight Q&A series, we present 2023 prospect Ron Holland, from Duncanville, Texas:
Pro Insight: Talk a bit about your background.
Ron Holland: My name is Ron Holland. I’m a 6’8 small forward. I play basketball. I go to Duncanville High School (TX). I play for Drive Nation (TX) in AAU in the summertime. Yeah, that’s me.
PI: How did you get into basketball?
RH: So when I was a little kid, I was just growing up around a competitive family and they would just shoot new things at me and I started playing basketball. I was a multi-sport athlete when I was a kid so I did everything: basketball, football, ran track. I fell in love with the game of basketball. It just grew on me. It was a way to escape away from everything. I just fell in love with the game.
PI: Does anyone else play sports in the family, currently?
RH: Yeah, I have an older sister. She plays volleyball. She attends TSU, right now. That’s it.
PI: What are your current measurements?
RH: My current measurements are: I’m 6’8, 192 pounds. I forgot my wingspan, but it was [measured] with USA Basketball.
PI: For those that aren’t familiar with your game, what are your greatest strengths and play style?
RH: I’m a high-level energy guy. I do the little things that nobody does. I bring a lot to the table. I’m a great leader. Go get the rebounds. You can count on me to lead your team to a win. I make winning plays. I treat every play like it’s the last play of the game.
PI: Congrats on winning the gold medal at the FIBA U16 Americas. Describe this past summer with USA Basketball.
RH: It was a great experience getting to know other guys from around the country, because we all got different things that we all can commit to and it was just challenging and fun getting to know everybody, getting to know what they do, what they don’t like to do — you know, building that chemistry. It was a way to support my country. It was something that I loved doing so I had to take full advantage of that. Had a great coaching staff, great environment to be around. Just not too many teenagers get that opportunity, so I took full advantage of that.
PI: What was the most memorable/funniest moment of the trip?
RH: The most memorable moment had to be either winning— the most memorable moment was winning the gold medal, because we had been through so much, like it just all came to an end that day. You know all that hard work that we put in just came to a stop at the end and it was all worth it. The funniest moment was probably the trip there (laughs). I’d say the trip there or getting tested for COVID.
PI: Who do you model your game after and try to study on film?
RH: Scottie Barnes. I like to model my game after him because he just brings everything. He can do it all. He’s listed as a guard, but he’s so huge, kinda like me. I got to build some strength, though — but his energy is just out of the roof. He can shoot the ball. Control his team. Great leader. I really model my game after him.
PI: What do you feel you still need to improve on the most? What have you been working on?
RH: Right now, I’m working on my guard skills because everybody at some point, you’re going to reach a level to where everybody works hard. You gotta do stuff to separate yourself from everybody so I’m just working on everything I need to work on. Going onto the college or pro route, whichever way I choose, I need to be able to set foot on campus and perform because I want to go down there and compete at the highest level, and set standards.
PI: Do you have a training regimen?
RH: I like to work out alone. So before every workout, I’d try to have a decent conversation with a certain trainer that I have because with my trainers, I feel like I can talk to them about my life so we get that conversation in and we get in the gym. It’s just once I step in between the lines, 94 feet, everything just releases. I take a deep breathe, put on some music. Either I got my AirPods in or I got a big speaker. Then we just get straight to the work.
PI: Who do you train with?
RH: Charles Hill. He’s an assistant at Duncanville. And Aaron Espinosa. He’s my assistant coach for AAU. Additionally, I also trained with Coach Charles Stoker of T2D outside of Duncanville and Drive Nation. Between high school, AAU, and USA Basketball, I have trained and played non-stop for 10 months, but have relished every part of it.
PI: What are your short term goals you have for yourself as a player?
RH: Some short term goals I got is obviously getting my team to state, but not only do I want to win state, I want to get my team put in a position to where we can go get put in GEICO. Winning those games, like December 9th, we get to play Montverde. Winning that game would be huge for what we are trying to accomplish. Getting to state and not only winning it, but winning MVP of it — because last year, I didn’t really have a decent game, but it’s all good because it shows that I still have stuff to work on, which is a good thing. That’s really it.
PI: What are your biggest interests outside of basketball?
RH: So honestly (laughs), my life right now is a whole lot of basketball, but I’d say I like to shop, watch movies a lot, chill with my family and friends, stuff like that. I used to drum (laughs) when I was in middle school, but I don’t really do that anymore.
PI: Would you say your drumming talent has translated to the court, at all?
RH: Yeah, so I like translated to basketball, knowing that I gotta keep rhythm with everything that you do. There’s a cue to everything you do. You just gotta find it.
PI: Who are your favorite music artists?
RH: NBA YoungBoy just dropped, so him. Rod Wave. Lil Durk. Lil Baby. MoneyBagg Yo. Brent Faiyaz. That’s about it right now that I’m listening to.
PI: If you were stuck forever on a deserted island and had all the food, water, and shelter you needed — what three personal items would you bring?
RH: I’d bring my phone, for sure. Oh wait? Do I got service? Can I get service? [Interviewer nods affirmatively]. My phone. Probably my game set that includes TV and all. I would say probably my dog. I need my dog.
PI: What type of dog do you have?
RH: I have two dogs. I have a Pitbull and a Yorkie mixed with a Shih Tzu.
PI: You have one hashtag to describe yourself. What is it?
PI: If you weren’t pursuing a career as a professional hooper, what do you think you would choose to do?
RH: Sports medicine, because I believe in helping others. If I can do it, I’d rather help somebody else accomplish their goals than just sit there and dwell on mine.
PI: Who’s someone you look up to as a role model?
RH: Somebody I look up to… I’d say Kevin Durant. ‘Cause I feel like he came from where I came from, like not the physical place, but just the background. I have a game like him. I have a game that I can approach to be like him.
PI: What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
RH: I would say I have quite a bit so I’d say one of them would be like “it’s not about how you react, it’s about how you respond.” I’d say “you ain’t gotta respond to everything.” “Keep grinding.” “You gotta know where you come from.” “Don’t take everything personal!” I’m going through that a lot right now. Just when a coach is handling adversity, you just gotta don’t try to listen to the bad that’s coming at you, you gotta listen to what they are trying to say instead of how they’re saying it. Sometimes coaches get irritated, too. They’re human so they’ll scream and do all that, but you gotta listen to what they’re saying, not how they’re saying it.
PI: What’s the latest with your recruitment? Who’s been in touch most often, lately?
RH: So right now coaches have been coming up to the school to watch us practice, but I’d say I have been hearing from UCLA, Memphis, Gonzaga, TCU, TSU, Arkansas, Texas, and Oregon.
PI: What will ultimately be your deciding factors when making your choice?
RH: So I’d say I’d be able to build a relationship with my coach so they’ll be able to trust me because you gotta have that trust, you gotta build that bond where stuff goes wrong, “I want you to trust me just like how I trust you like that.” I’ll be looking for a school that has a high-pace program like getting out in transition like that, because it fits my game. And I know I have to elevate my game, but I feel like that’s the best part of my game.
PI: Name four words that best describe you.
RH: Passionate. Open-minded. Prideful. Joyful.
PI: At the end of the day, what do you hope to be remembered for?
RH: That I was the best person to be around. Having that description on your back that everybody wants to play with you, everybody wants to be around you. I feel like it’s good to have, because you just elevate the brightness of the room. When you come into a room making everybody smile, that just comes with having energy and positivity. Just being positive to everybody.