Pete DiPrimio, sports columnist and college beat writer for The News-Sentinel of Fort Wayne, Ind., takes his best shots on the world of Hoosier basketball.

Wednesday, January 24

Recruit Needs What IU Provides

Eli Holman can't get to Indiana soon enough.

Who's Eli Holman? He's the 6-10 shot-blocking whiz out of Richmond, Calif, who seems to really need the kind of guidance Kelvin Sampson and the Hoosiers can provide.

Holman was wounded during a weekend drive-by shooting in Richmond and was lucky to escape serious injury. A bullet grazed his upper back.

Holman was with three friends in a Mercedes Benz. They had just pulled into a Quality Inn for a birthday party when the shooting began. Holman apparently didn't know the shooters, who have reportedly been arrested. This seems to be part of a crime epidemic that has plagued Contra Costa County's second-largest city.

Holman hasn't played all season while fighting a suspension over pushing an official during his junior year. He met a number of criteria in order to get reinstated, including taking anger management classes and dramatically improving his school performance.

However, one consequence of the shooting is that Holman will be home schooled the rest of the year and won't play basketball.

When Holman gets to IU this summer he will receive the kind of guidance (academic as well as athletic) and discipline he needs to maximize his potential. A cynic could say that Holman represents an unnecessary risk, but sometimes kids just need the right kind of environment to thrive. IU can be that kind of environment. It will be up to Holman to take advantage of it.


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