Bell-Holter far from ordinary (Basketball)
Hydaburg’s Damen Bell-Holter is just like any other student at Oral Roberts University in Oklahoma.
He’s on Facebook. He listens to Fabolous, Lil Wayne and The Game. He isn’t afraid to speak his mind.
Then again, Bell-Holter is far from ordinary.
“I actually did my own basketball camp (in July) where I got about 70 kids,” he told me. “I’m gonna do two next summer and the good thing is, they’ll only get bigger and better.”
Bell-Holter, of Ketchikan High fame, is proud of his Southeast roots and uses his family and community as a source of inspiration. So coming home to Hydaburg to put on a kids camp was the least he could do.
“I come from a very small town and if I make it, it would be huge,” he said.
He’s theoretically made it as one of only four Alaska men currently playing NCAA Division I basketball, joining Will Egolf (Bradley), Kevin Winford (Eastern Washington) and Anthony Cousin (Illinois State).
But it sounds like he’s got bigger dreams.
“I’m really excited to see what my future holds and the things I have the potential to do,” he said.
Right now, though, his focus is on his sophomore season. The 6-foot-9 forward enjoyed a fine freshman season in which he was the first big man off the bench and played in all 33 games.
He averaged 4.6 points and 3.2 rebounds in 15 minutes per game, although his stats improved at season’s end, including an 11-point, 6-rebound effort in the Summit League Tournament.
He anticipates a breakout with a season of college under his belt.
Yet he knows he’s got to work to ultimately be the player he wants to be.
“My biggest weakness would probably be my athleticism, but I make up for it with my strength and I know how to use my body,” Bell-Holter said. “I can shoot the ball well, pass and I’m going to be depended on to score this year because … the coaches have high expectations for me and I’m excited to keep working hard so I can have a good season.”
His bread and butter is in the post.
“I got a few go-to moves,” he said. “I like to face up and shoot, and I also drive baseline a lot and spin to the middle for a fadaway or left hook.”
Look for Bell-Holter and Oral Roberts to do big things. The Golden Eagles return eight players, including four starters, from a 20-win club.
“We’re gonna be very good this year and I expect us to win our conference,” Bell-Holter said.