Hornet Standout Brings All-Around Game to Angelina College
College coaches spend a lot of time on the road scouting and recruiting prospective players while trying to find those deemed the right fit for a program.
Kanaan Holder, however, had the unique opportunity to scout his future coach.
Holder, a Hudson High School standout, attended several Angelina College basketball game right down the road from his home, so he had ample opportunity to see how Roadrunner head coach J.J. Montgomery runs his program. Clearly, Holder liked what he saw, because this week the Hornet standout signed his letter of intent to join the AC team beginning in the fall of 2022.
“I like the way (AC) uses multiple guards on the floor,” Holder said. “They can handle the ball and stretch the court out to create shooting opportunities. I really like that style of play.
“I also really like (Montgomery’s) work ethic. I think he’s going to relay that to me, just go at it all day, every day. Just put me to work.”
Holder’s own experiences in leagues outside of the high school realm showed him just how tough the competition can be at the collegiate level, but rather than feeling any intimidation, he sees it as a good thing.
“I think the higher level of competition is going to open things up a little for me a little more,” Holder said. “I got double-teamed a lot in high school, and they can’t really do that in college just because there’s so much talent on the floor in every game.”
Holder closed out his senior season at Hudson as just one of two seniors on the team; nevertheless, the Hornets made the post-season despite a relatively inexperienced lineup. Holder led the team in scoring at a 21.1 points per game clip. He was also tops in rebounding (7.1 rebounds per game) and assists (2.7 assists per game).
From his high school coach, Cannon Earp, Holder said he learned what he’d need to continue playing basketball at the next level.
“Coach Earp played college basketball, and he really taught me how to just take it all, knowing how to work and what it’s going to take to get to play after high school,” Holder said.
Montgomery noted that Earp’s system at Hudson is similar to the system Montgomery employs with his Roadrunners – specifically, “a lot of flex, a lot of motion,” so he feels Holder will fit in immediately.
When asked about Holder’s overall abilities, Montgomery cited several times he witnessed Holder’s court-reading abilities and overall court presence.
“In one game, I saw him bring the ball up the floor several times, and he immediately read what the defense was doing and made the right plays to get his team a score,” Montgomery said. “What I like about Kanaan is he’s so poised. He’s never rushed or out of control. He can shoot the ball very well, and he’s got great ball-handling skills. But what I like most about him is his basketball IQ. He’s such a smart player, and he reads the court so well.
“That’s not something anyone can teach. Either you have it or you don’t, and he’s one of those guys who definitely has it.”
Holder said he plans to major in Business in college. He is the son of Tammy and Tony Holder of Hudson. The email address for AC’s Sports Information Director is firstname.lastname@example.org.