Jrue Holiday is a popular player among NBA fans, but he isn’t the only member of his family making a name for himself in the NBA. Brothers Justin and Aaron, both Indiana Pacers, are also establishing their NBA careers.
While many know the Ball brothers, Gasol brothers, and Antetokounmpo brothers, the Holidays may be relatively unknown to some NBA fans. But their story and talent should be heard by everyone.
Who are the Holiday brothers?
According to the Los Angeles Times, the Holiday family grew up in the Los Angeles area and went to North Hollywood Campbell Hall High School. Jrue and Aaron played college ball at UCLA, as did sister Lauren, while Justin went to Washington. Unlike other sports families, however, the three brothers weren’t groomed for NBA greatness. That came later.
Their parents, Toya and Shawn, met in college and were both athletes. Shawn spoke about this break from tradition with most NBA families.
“It’s funny when people go, ‘I’m going to marry this person because she’s tall and then we’re going to have tall kids and they’re going to play,’ ” Shawn told the Chicago Tribune. “We didn’t say that. I met my wife, we both played basketball. I liked kids … but I didn’t think about what they were going to be when they got older.”
The kids were never forced into sports, although with two passionate basketball fans as parents, they weren’t pushed away from it. The family admits there is a competitive streak common among brothers. So when second-oldest brother Jrue went to the NBA, it only made sense that his two brothers would want to follow.
Now, all three are in the NBA in meaningful roles. The trio made history recently as the first time three different brothers played in the same game in NBA history.
Jrue is the most recognizable brother of the bunch. He entered the league as a Philadelphia 76er and almost immediately showed his worth. By year four, he was an All-Star, but the 76ers traded him for a young Nerlens Noel. Jrue, while never repeating his All-Star season, has since become the Pelicans’ most reliable guard.
Now in his 11th season, Jrue is the veteran leader of a new-look Pelicans team still waiting to unveil Zion Williamson. Jrue having one of the best years of his career, too, averaging nearly 20 points, six assists, and five rebounds a game in his seventh season with the team.
Although Justin is the oldest of the Holiday brothers, he was the second to join the NBA when he played alongside Jrue in Philadelphia. Unlike Jrue, Justin would have to fight for a spot on an NBA roster, taking smaller roles on the Philadelphia 76ers, Golden State Warriors, and Atlanta Hawks before finding his niche as a Chicago Bull.
A journeyman throughout his career, Holiday is now known as a reliable option off the bench, and currently gets 25 minutes per game with the Pacers, averaging eight points, an assist, and three rebounds in the process.
The youngest of the Holiday family, Aaron is in his second season in the NBA. Unlike Justin, Aaron got to see his name called on draft night, and while his role was limited during his rookie year, he is emerging as a valuable piece of the Pacers‘ bench alongside his oldest brother.
Through 38 games, he is putting up nearly 11 points, four assists, and two rebounds on a team that relies on its depth.
The Holiday family is a major success story and proof that one doesn’t need sports hoisted on them to become great. Their journey hopefully has many more years, but all of the brothers found their path to the NBA.
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