Shaheen Holloway opens up on self-confidence, basketball profession, Saint Peter’s March Madness run

Coach Shaheen Holloway took a second from Saint Peter’s Cinderella run to go one-on one with The Post’s Steve Serby: 

Q: Do you want underdogs and underdog tales? 

A: I adore it ’trigger I’m the underdog story. Coming from the place I got here from in New York, coming to Jersey, 5-foot-10 man changing into a highschool All-American, and staying residence to go to school, to consider in your self, assume that you could possibly construct a group that was down just a little bit to make ’em a contender. Everything I did, I all the time did as an underdog. I went to St. Patrick, no one by no means heard of it. When I left there, it was a family identify. When I went to Seton Hall, it was down; once I left there, we bought it again up. When we took the job at Iona, it was down. 

Q: Your group represents New York-New Jersey to a tee, proper? 

A: Absolutely. You put your laborious hat on, you’re lacing your Timberland boots up, and also you’re able to go to work. That’s what my group represents. 

Q: Is your group on Cloud 9, or will you must knock your guys off Cloud 9? 

A: Nah, these guys are so level-headed. I don’t brag on these guys like I ought to … nice children, nice college students, come from nice households. I’m the fortunate one. 

Q: How will they deal with the massive second? The magnitude of the Sweet 16? 

A: How will they deal with the massive second? Do you understand what these younger gents achieved already? These younger gents that lots of people didn’t need, they didn’t assume was adequate, not solely gained a MAAC championship, went into the NCAA Tournament, beat among the best identify faculties in historical past. … That everyone thought was a fluke. … Came again and gained a second recreation in opposition to one other nice group, Murray State. These guys ain’t anxious about no moments like that. These guys are simply on the market doing what they like to do and that’s hooping, man, that’s it. How are you able to be afraid of one thing that you simply like to do? These guys ain’t anxious about no moments. I’m not letting them fear about no moments. I attempt to preserve ’em off social media as a lot as attainable, don’t take heed to all of the hoopla. This week has been a loopy week for us to this point, get a whole lot of consideration, what they deserve. But they’re simply on the market simply hooping and taking part in. And they nonetheless bought one thing to show. 

Q: The traits of the best Shaheen Holloway basketball participant? 

A: There’s three issues: One, you gotta be powerful and tough-minded. Second is you gotta love the sport of basketball. And third you must be coachable. If you bought these three issues you may play for me. If you ain’t bought these three issues, you may’t play for me. 

Shaheen Holloway
Shaheen Holloway
Noah Ok. Murray-NY Post

Q: Why would Shaheen Holloway the participant take pleasure in taking part in for Shaheen Holloway the coach? 

A: Because Shaheen as a participant has all of the intangibles that Shaheen as a coach loves — he’s powerful, he’s hard-nose, he will get after it, he performs with a chip on his shoulder, and I let my guards play. If you get after it on the defensive finish, I’ll allow you to play offense as a lot as you need. 

Q: Give me an instance of the way you have been tough-minded as a participant. 

A: Nothing fazed me. Coaches yelling at, nothing fazed me. I had the last word purpose the place I believed I used to be higher than you, I’m gonna go on the market and show it. You gotta play with a chip on your shoulder. I had a chip on my shoulder as a participant, I bought a chip on my shoulder as a coach. 

Q: Why do you’ve got a chip on your shoulder as a coach? 

A: Because you realize what? I gotta be trustworthy with you, there’s a stereotype on the market about an African-American man that they will solely recruit. They’re not good coaches, they’re not X-and-O guys. There’s lots of people that say they didn’t assume I might take over and run my very own program. They didn’t assume I used to be gonna achieve success ’trigger I wasn’t an excellent X-and-O man, simply was a recruiter, or this or that. That kinda stuff fueled me, as a participant and as a coach. When I used to be a participant, I used to be too small, you may’t do that, you may’t try this. You’re not gonna be capable of go to a highschool and do that, you’re by no means gonna be capable of go to school, you may’t do that. All that stuff was gasoline to the hearth. There’s a stereotype on the market proper now that almost all younger African-American coaches are good recruiters, not good coaches, X-and-O guys. I’m on the market to show that flawed each single day, so for the following man to get a job, he gained’t have that very same factor on him. 

Q: You can go one-on-one with any NBA participant in historical past. 

A: I’ve a narrative, once I was taking part in within the ABA, in Chicago (Skyliners). Michael Jordan was popping out of retirement, and he was coming again taking part in five-on-five with us to get again in form. And I bear in mind Michael Jordan was guarding me. Michael Jordan talked Michael Jordan stuff, and I gave him a pleasant crossover and scored on him, that was one of many highlights of my profession ever. I bought a whole lot of highlights, however that was big-time simply due to him and his competitiveness and the way he was speaking and taking part in. 

Q: What was he saying? 

A: He simply was taking part in laborious and speaking smack, and elbow you and never allow you to get to sure spots, and simply taking part in bodily. And what he didn’t know was that was up my alley. I cherished that. 

Q: What was his response after the crossover? 

A: He got here down and scored the following 5 baskets on me (chortle). 

Q: But nonetheless you had that one second. 

A: Yeah completely. I cherish that one second. 

Q: What is your definition of management? 

A: If you’re a chief, individuals gotta be keen to comply with you, and the way are individuals gonna comply with you? … You’ve bought to be constant. And do what you say, and say what you imply. 

Q: How would you describe your teaching type? 

A: I’m fiery, I’m very passionate, and I’m very constant. All my guys’ll inform you an identical factor. I’m per each final individual. 

Q: How do you encourage? 

A: I’m completely different, proper? I like guys to precise themself on the court docket. My motivation is working guys out, pumping ’em up, making them really feel like they may accomplish any and the whole lot, the most important mountain, like — ‘Oh, it’s solely that? Oh, it’s solely this? We might try this, that’s straightforward.’ My motivation is to get guys taking part in and believing that they may do issues that they didn’t assume that they may do. 

Shaheen Holloway speaks with Saint Peter's playersJaylen Murray (32) and Doug Edert.
Shaheen Holloway speaks with Saint Peter’s gamers Jaylen Murray (32) and Doug Edert.
Getty Images

Q: Do you’ve got favourite motivational or inspirational sayings? 

A: I’ve a number of (chortle). I feel the one which I follow essentially the most quite a bit is: If you don’t stand for one thing you fall for something. And that’s what I inform my gamers on a regular basis. 

Q: Any others? 

A: You can’t pay attention and speak on the identical time. If I’m making an attempt to let you know one thing and also you’re giving me solutions again earlier than I even end, you may’t pay attention and speak on the identical time. It’s unattainable. 

Q: What drives you? 

A: The will to need to be actually good at my craft. The will to show lots of people flawed. I feel there’s lots of people on the market that’s cheering for me, however there are lots of people on the market that don’t need to see me do nicely. That’s simply how life is, man. The will to maintain going, and ensure my children perceive that on this world, with the intention to achieve success, you must work laborious, and also you gotta overcome quite a bit. 

Q: Getting reduce by the Knicks? 

A: Heartbreaking. As a child rising up in New York City, there’s the Knicks, and there was the Mets, as a result of I’m from Queens. Coming out I had an opportunity to decide on between the Washington Wizards and the New York Knicks to go to what camp. And I selected the Knicks simply due to being New York. I believed I did nicely sufficient to make the group. They had three guys underneath contract on the time, which was Chris Childs, Charlie Ward and I feel it was Rick Brunson. I didn’t know the unhealthy aspect of the politics on the time. Rick had accomplished an important job of incomes his stripes there, and everyone cherished him, and he earned it. 

Q: How would you describe your taking part in profession after Seton Hall? 

A: I believed it coulda went other ways. I believed I shoulda made the Nets. Jason Kidd bought damage. I believed it was my job. But they felt they wanted a place to begin guard and so they went out and bought Travis Best. I attempted to remain near residence considering that that may be a bonus, and it turned out to be a drawback. 

Q: Flash again to main Seton Hall to the Sweet 16 in 2000. 

A: Obviously, I flash again to my senior yr, my first time making the NCAA Tournament was an enormous factor. I knew I used to be gonna play nicely, I used to be so juiced up and amped up and hyped up to play. Obviously hitting the game-winning shot [against Oregon], scoring 27 factors that recreation, it was like an incredible excessive for me. And then the primary 5 minutes of the second recreation [against Temple], breaking my ankle and having my desires and the whole lot trashed proper in entrance of my eyes was a significant, main disappointment, and never with the ability to play within the Sweet 16 [against Oklahoma State] was simply heartbreaking, ’trigger it’s one thing you’re employed your complete life for. It was proper there, and you may’t do it, man. It was devastating. 

Q: When did you get the teaching bug? 

A: Since I used to be taking part in. I knew that I used to be gonna be a coach, I simply didn’t understand it was gonna be this quick. I ended taking part in as a result of I needed to deal with my daughter. I used to be taking part in in Germany on the time, signed a two-year contract. My daughter kinda wanted me in her life greater than I used to be. 

Q: What was it like having a daughter (Shatanik) if you have been 15? 

A: I had a whole lot of relations there to assist, but it surely was like a child elevating a child. 

Q: Not straightforward at 15, proper? 

A: It’s not straightforward at 40 (chortle). But undoubtedly not straightforward at 15 for positive. 

Shaheen Holloway while playing at Seton Hall.
Shaheen Holloway whereas taking part in at Seton Hall.
Nury Hernandez – New York Post

Q: Fatherhood? 

A: It retains me on my toes. My son Xavier is 9, I attempt to assist him change into an excellent participant. Tyson will probably be 2 on Friday. 

Q: How’s your diaper recreation? 

A: Think about this — I bought my daughter who’s 28 years previous. … I bought expertise with it. 

Q: Coaches in different sports activities you admire? 

A: I’m a sports activities fanatic. I like the job that Bill Belichick does. … Doc Rivers. … on the baseball aspect, Dusty Baker, I like him quite a bit. 

Q: Did you ever textual content any of them? 

A: I don’t try this, I learn a whole lot of books, I like my man Herm Edwards, and I like my man Tony Dungy. He’s the actual deal, man. 

Q: You can choose the mind of any coach in NBA historical past? 

A: I like Pat Riley. I by no means learn his e-book, however I cherished the way in which his guys responded to him, and he bought on ’em. It’s the identical factor with Chuck Daly, man, God relaxation his soul. He was one in every of my favorites as a result of he was a tough-minded, laborious coach that bought on his guys and by no means wavered. 

Q: Bloomfield Tech? 

A: Nick Mariniello gave me my first alternative to teach. 

Q: Kevin Willard? 

A: Believed in me, helped mildew me to the coach I’m at present. 

Q: What drove you as a younger boy? 

A: To be trustworthy, to get out of the ’hood, to make it out of South Jamaica, Queens. 

Q: Give me a way for the way unhealthy South Jamaica, Queens, was. 

A: It’s laborious to speak unhealthy about it ’trigger it made me who I’m at present. It was a troublesome internal metropolis. 

Q: You moved in along with your grandmother Emma Clemons in Hillside, N.J. 

A: One of the very best girls you’re gonna meet in your life. We misplaced her a few years in the past. Genuine one who’d provide the shirt off her again. An individual that cared about me, not the basketball participant, however the individual. Taught me quite a bit. When I got here to Jersey, she kinda was like a candy mother to me. 

Q: Describe your mom, Claudette. 

A: My mom is a troublesome, single mum or dad, raised three children — me, my brother, my sister — I get all my toughness and all my grit from her. She’s powerful, she’s fiery, and he or she’s among the best in the entire large world. 

Q: How was it for you with no father in your life? 

A: I didn’t really feel nothing about it ’trigger my mother did an important job. It takes a village, my mother and my grandmom, my complete household, did an important job of filling that void. Where he was at? I don’t know. I nonetheless don’t know. 

Shaheen Holloway
Shaheen Holloway in Saint Peter’s apply as they put together for his or her Sweet 16 matchup with Purdue.
Noah Ok. Murray-NY Post

Q: How happy with you is she? 

A: She’s super-proud, man. She’s my greatest fan. Her and my grandma (Dorothy) are my two greatest followers. They name me on a regular basis. Those are two those that I do it for. I labored so laborious rising up for them as a result of I nonetheless owe them a home. I promised them that someway someway I’m gonna get it for ’em. 

Q: Biggest impediment or adversity you needed to overcome? 

A: My childhood wasn’t straightforward, I don’t discuss it that a lot as a result of I prefer to preserve it to myself. But simply the impediment of me being the primary one in my household to ever graduate from school. Now it’s a pattern in my household. I set the tone for it, that’s the norm now. I bought seven, eight little cousins proper now which can be in school due to what I did. That’s humongous. 

Q: Boyhood idols? 

A: Isiah Thomas and Tim Hardaway. 

Q: Best playground video games? 

A: I.S. 8 bought a slogan: Bring your recreation, not your identify. Because you’d go in there and get embarrassed. 

Q: Two dinner friends? 

A: Martin Luther King; Shaheen Holloway. And asking him, “What drives you, so hard? What makes you think that you could just go in there and coach with Coach Calipari and coach with these guys and think that you were gonna be successful all the way?” And the reply is: Because I consider in myself. “Why do you have this big chip on your shoulder that’s the size of a boulder that gets you the way you are?” ’Cause my group asks me that on a regular basis. “Why do you coach like that? Why do you coach so hard? Why do you coach with so much passion?” I bought this aggressive spirit that it simply comes out. 

Q: So you don’t even want Shaheen Holloway there, you realize the reply. 

A: Him and I speak on a regular basis (chortle). 

Q: Favorite films? 

A: “Heat,” “Carlito’s Way,” “The Godfather,” “Goodfellas.” 

Q: Favorite actors? 

A: Martin Lawrence; Denzel Washington. 

Q: Favorite actresses? 

A: Halle Berry; Nia Long. 

Shaheen Holloway
Shaheen Holloway

Q: Favorite singer/entertainer? 

A: My favourite rapper is Nas. Favorite singer is Mary J. Blige. 

Q: Favorite meal? 

A: Penne a la vodka with breaded hen. 

Q: Why have you ever all the time believed a lot in your self? 

A: One of my childhood heroes rising up was (former Andrew Jackson High School level guard) Dave Edwards. He handed away. He taught me the best way to play, like I mildew my recreation round his recreation. Coming from the place we got here from, to see all the blokes that didn’t make it, that had the expertise, that’s what drives me. 

Q: What is it like being Shaheen Holloway as of late? 

A: I’m the identical individual, man. I’m low-key. I bought a small circle. 

Q: Your legacy someday? 

A: Just somebody that went on the market and gave it his all each single night time and had a ardour. One of my mobster phrases — I’m a person’s man. That means you’re a standup man, you’re loyal, you’re real. You’re a person’s man. 

Q: What would the title of the Shaheen Holloway film be? 

A: A buddy of mine, Jamel Thomas, has a clothes line that I like — it’s known as The Beautiful Struggle. That can be the identify of my film. 

Q: It’s untimely to ask you concerning the vacant Seton Hall job. 

A: I’m making an attempt to beat Purdue Friday night time. That’s all I care about proper now. Nothing else.

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