Damen Bell-Holter has been somewhat of an underdog his entire basketball career. His recruiting stock was limited in the isolated 250-person village of Hydaburg, Alaska, yet the dedicated player found a way to get noticed. After a year of prep school in New Hampshire, he fittingly ended up at an underdog school in Oral Roberts in the Southland Conference, and once again found a way to get noticed. Bell-Holter has persevered through every challenge he’s encountered, and he now faces the ultimate obstacle with the upcoming NBA Draft. Once again he needs to find a way to get noticed.
The Alaskan-native stands at 6’10” and 245 pounds, and is coming off a dynamic season where he significantly improved nearly every statistic and aspect of his game. One of Bell-Holter’s most glaring attributes is his strength. His trainer Clint Parks stated, “He’s as strong as an Ox.” The big man can work down low and use both of his hands in the post. What’s really special about Bell-Holter is that as strong as he is, he surprisingly has a very soft touch. Most importantly, he possesses the inside and outside game that scouts look for. In his senior season he shot 51% from the field, 75.4% from the free throw line while becoming much more consistent from the 15-20ft range. Since Bell-Holter is learning to optimally use his body, his rebounding is very solid and much improved. This past season he averaged 9.6 RPG and demonstrated great energy and activity with 3.4 offensive rebounds per game.
Although it was the best environment to show off his skillset, the Southland Conference didn’t provide Bell-Holter with the best competition, and his defensive skills suffered from it. Although it’s the weakest part of his game, it’s one that will significantly improve with exposure to more athletic competition over the summer.
In preparation for the draft, the former Golden Eagle is working on another leap similar to his junior to senior season. He’s been working extremely hard every day, spending much of the time with projected first-rounder Tony Snell. His trainer noted that his greatest improvements are solidifying his offensive versatility and further learning how to effectively use his body. He went on to compare the prospect to Udonis Haslem, both considerably hard-working and crazy strong with a post and mid-range game.
This power forward could be one of the steals of the second round and if he goes undrafted, the team that signs him will be more than lucky. One way or another, this extremely dedicated player out of the small Alaskan village will stop at nothing, and some way he will make his way into the league.
Click here to view the video on YouTube.