With the winter holiday season coming to close, let’s take a look at the All Basketball Christmas Team.
Guard: Jrue Holiday
The former Campbell Hall and UCLA legend, Holiday currently stars for the Philadelphia 76ers. Holiday seems to have been enjoying the Christmas season – since December 25th, he has averaged 21.0 ppg, 9.6 ast, and 5.4 reb. In a 95-89 loss in Phoenix, Holiday recorded his second career triple double (16/10/10). Holiday has also scored well off of the basketball court, as and his fiancé Lauren Cheney, a member of the US Women’s Soccer team, are set to get married later this month.
Guard: Matt Carroll
Photo Credit: Tim Fuller, US Presswire
Carroll enjoyed a lot of success before he became an NBA player. As the only player to ever win Mr. Basketball in the state of Pennsylvania twice, Carroll graduated Hatboro-Horsham HS ranked second in scoring in the history of Southeastern Pennsylvania High School Basketball behind Kobe Bryant. As a senior at the University of Notre Dame, Carroll was selected as a First Team All Big East guard-forward and named an All-American Honorable Mention. Unfortunately for the 10 year pro, the New Orleans Hornets waived Carroll just one month before Christmas.
Forward: Metta World Peace
Formerly known as Ron Artest, Metta has been in the basketball spotlight since his early childhood years as a Queens Projects street baller. Although his 13-year-long NBA career has been very up and down in terms of his ability to stay on the court, Metta is known throughout the league as one of the NBA’s all time great defensive players. In 2004, the then Artest was honored as the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year. Although he has not been named to either the 1st or 2nd All NBA Defensive Team since the 2009 season, Metta is still considered one of the most prolific man-to-man defenders in the league.
Forward: Rakeem Christmas
On August 6, 2010, the #19 ranked high school prospect in the country signed his letter of intent to play hoops at Syracuse University, and boy did the Orange really get an early Christmas gift. Since his arrival on campus a year ago, Christmas has logged just under 700 minutes of playing time for the Orangemen. This season, Christmas is averaging 7.2 ppg and 5.6 rpg as he has helped #7 ranked Syracuse to a 13-1 start.
Center: Nerlens Noel
Photo Credit: Paul Abell/US Presswire
It’s hard to tell which is more impressive: Noel’s pure athleticism on a basketball court or his perfectly groomed flattop. All kidding aside, the freshman center for the Kentucky Wildcats has a lot to look forward to in 2013. As the #1 ranked freshman prospect entering the season, Noel is also expected to be the #1 overall pick in this year’s NBA Draft. He is currently averaging 10.5 ppg and 9.0 reb.
Head Coach: Rudolph “Rudy” Tomjanovich
‘Rudy T’s’ coaching career started off with a bang, helping to guide the Houston Rockets to back-to-back NBA Titles in the mid-1980s. In 2004, Tomjanovich replaced Phil Jackson as the Los Angeles Lakers head coach after the Zen Master feuded with stars Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal, but eventually was forced to resign due to health issues. Tomjanovich’s résumé also includes a Bronze Medal in the 1998 FIBA Games and Olympic Gold as the head coach for Team USA in Athens, Greece (2002).
Assistant Coach: Eric Snow
Snow, the former backcourt mate of Allen Iverson for the late-1990s and early-2000s Philadelphia 76ers, is now the Assistant Coach for Southern Methodist University’s men’s basketball program. While in the NBA, Snow helped the 76ers win the 2001 Eastern Conference title, and was also a 2nd Team selection to the 2003 All NBA Defensive Team.