Holland’s career at Fresno State comes full circle for family

Anthony Holland racing down the court in the game against Utah State Jan. 18, 2022 at Save Mart Center. (Melina Kazanjian/ The Collegian)

Patrick Holland said seeing his son, Anthony Holland, play as a Bulldog is dear to his heart.

Growing up in Fresno, Patrick Holland attended Fresno State basketball games at Selland Arena. Now, he gets to watch his 21-year-old son Anthony Holland play for the Bulldogs at Save Mart Center.

“My dad is my first coach,” Anthony Holland said.

Anthony Holland said his parents introduced him to sports, and it was his dad who first showed him basketball when he was 3 years old. Since the day his father introduced him to basketball, he continued to stick with it. 

Looking back at the coaches in his career who have made him the athlete he is today, Anthony Holland said, “I will say my dad first.” 

He also highlighted his high school coach Robert Robinson, who is now coaching at UCLA, and his IBP basketball league coach, Keith Howard. 

Besides his father’s ties to Fresno and having family here, Anthony Holland played with the Elite Basketball Organization (EBO) based in Fresno. Besides playing high school ball, Holland played in other leagues such as the AAU circuit and IBP basketball league. 

With Patrick Holland being from Fresno, Anthony Holland was familiar with the area when it came time to move here for his collegiate career. He noted that having another group of people there to support him helped with his decision to move, but Fresno State’s basketball program solidified his decision. 

“I came here on my visit. I really liked the program, I really liked the campus, I really liked what the coaches were about, and I just felt like that was the best fit for me,” Holland said.

After Anthony Holland chose to play basketball at Fresno State, Patrick Holland noted how surreal it felt, due to his own roots in Fresno. He’d moved to Riverside after graduating high school to play basketball, so the parallel of his son coming to play  in Fresno was a blessing to him. 

“Everybody thinks I have something to do with it, but he played with EBO and the coach offered him, and it was just like a dream come true for us,” Patrick Holland said. 

Patrick Holland said the one thing he told his son was that when it came to his hometown of Fresno, he had to win. He highlighted the Red Wave fanbase and the community support Fresno State receives. 

“You know, we got a big support. We don’t have a lot going on. So you have to make sure that, if you guys want people to come, you guys got to play hard,” Patrick Holland said.

Anthony Holland explained that playing collegiate basketball has always been a dream for him. As he continued to grow, he saw this dream slowly forming into a reality. Countless hours of hard work landed him a spot as a Bulldog.  

Fresno State guard, Anthony Holland, against UNLV on Feb. 16, 2022 at Save Mart Center. (Melina Kazanjian/ The Collegian)

Like many other basketball players, Anthony and Patrick Holland bonded while watching professionals, like Kobe Bryant, play. 

“We love watching [Kobe Bryant] play. I used to play in the intramural leagues after college,” Patrick said.

Anthony Holland grew up in Riverside, where he attended Notre Dame High School, helping lead his team to a league, regional and state championship. Holland averaged 15.5 points, seven rebounds, two assists, nearly two steals and a block per game in his high school career, which included 1,940 career points in 125 games.

During Anthony Holland’s senior year of high school, for the 2018-2019 season, he received the John R. Wooden Award in 2018 and 3A Player of the Year honors while also being a three-time all-state and three-time All-CIF honoree.

Patrick Holland attended Central High School where he played basketball and said that his own love for basketball is what introduced his son to the world of basketball. He attended UC Riverside after playing basketball for Central High School. He noted that, after Anthony Holland saw him play in adult leagues, his son fell in love with the sport. 

“And since then, just as many things, just play basketball. Play the right way.” Patrick said.

As Anthony Holland got older, his connection with basketball grew and watching Kobe play for the Lakers continued his love for the sport. 

“I started having a little more fun with basketball. I started watching on TV a lot more, and I started watching Kobe. And I was like, ‘Man, he’s just so amazing. I just want to be like that.’ And I was wanting to stick with it,” said Anthony Holland. 

He said his experience with the Fresno State men’s basketball team has been great, noting the different things he’s been able to go through with his teammates and coaches on campus overall. 

“It’s just his honor to be in that situation. I put a lot of work in, and that’s just a result of my work. So, I’m just happy and thankful for the opportunities,” Anthony Holland said. “You always watch March Madness every year and stuff like that. So, just being able to play at another level was very exciting for me.”

Anthony Holland said his favorite moment as a Bulldog was the game when Fresno State retired Paul George’s jersey. He highlighted it as an exciting game for the team and said he played as a Bulldog for that game. 

After playing basketball for most of his life, Anthony Holland said the sport has taught him to work hard for the things he wants. He emphasized the game of basketball and its unforgiving nature. 

“It’s [taught] me how to work hard for things I want. You know, that’s the main one, because you got to work for anything you have in life,” he said. 

For this 2022 season, Anthony Holland has played a total of 40 minutes for the Bulldogs, carrying 22 career points for the season. He has 12 rebounds, five assists, three steals and one block. Anthony Holland’s highest scoring game was against New Mexico with 22 points. 

His career statistics include a total of 386 career points, 65 assists and a total of 1,836 minutes played. 

Patrick Holland noted that his son’s hard work, as evidenced in his career statistics, have shown how hard he has worked to get a scholarship and to hone his craft.

After coaching him at AAU and being hard on him to be a good player, Patrick Holland said it has been rewarding to see where his son’s talent is today. 

“I’m just focusing on finishing strong, you know. We got a really good team and we can play with anybody in this conference if we want to,” Anthony Holland said. 

Holland said his 10-year-old self would have never imagined his basketball career to turnout like this. 

“I’ll just be shocked. Just to see myself like who I am today. I’ll just be shocked if I was a 10 year old looking at me,” he said.

“Just keep going. The sky’s the limit, you know, just always be positive. Just be a leader, be a team player. Just everything that we’ve created,” Patrick Holland said in a message to his son. 

Patrick Holland said that Anthony’s mother, Mina Holland, is really influential to what he does, noting that she’s really one of the backbones to how “he’s so humble and so sweet.”

“They say [he’s] like a nice kid, but he has that inner understanding that you have to play hard,” he said. 

With Kobe being one of Anthony Holland’s favorite players, Patrick Holland said that, to have the mamba mentality of Kobe Bryant, you have to do the mamba mentality. 

“It doesn’t make you a bad person, it’s just the inner person that brings it out. So, when it comes out and we put it back in there [then] you go about your day,” he said. 

Anthony Holland looking for a pass in the game against New Mexico on Feb. 28, 2022 at Save Mart Center. (Melina Kazanjian/ The Collegian)
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