Webster defines a family tradition as an activity or pattern of behavior that reflects a family’s values, interests or beliefs. And, without question on the basketball court inside Brumley Fieldhouse in McAlester, there’s an ever-present tradition with the same last name that spans three generations…Holiman.
And now that includes Lady Buffs’ senior guard Jayda Holiman who is writing her own chapter in the Holiman book of influence and love for the game she plays.
“I try to be uncommon; never be satisfied with where I am right now but always working hard to be a better influence so that my efforts will help my teammates and my family find success and happiness both on and off the court,” said Holiman, whose two brothers Adante and Adonis have helped create success for McAlester boys’ basketball.
After playing a key role in McAlester winning the 2022 Class 5A state championship while averaging 12.6 points per game, Jayda is eager to find more gold in her final campaign of high school basketball before moving on to the collegiate level at the University of Texas-Rio Grand Valley.
“Of course, we all want to go back-to-back and bring home another state championship trophy, but right now it’s more about getting better everyday.”
Like all members of the Holiman family which also includes McAlester alum and current boys head coach Will Holiman, Jayda loves the game of basketball and hopes to find a way to match the talents of her favorite player Aari McDonald who established scoring records while at the University of Arizona and later in the WNBA.
“I just want to win, do whatever it takes to make a positive impact. I prefer to play fast and quick whether that’s getting to the rim or stop and pop outside,” said Jayda while defining her scoring abilities. “But let’s remember, defense is just as important as scoring because defense, that’s what wins championships.”
Lady Buffs coach Jarrod Owen was quick to praise Jayda for her game changing style of play.
“Jayda is one of the best guards in Oklahoma not just as a scorer, but also because of her rebounding and shot blocking abilities.”
And when asked about the competition within the Holiman family, Jayda said she enjoys going one-on-one with her two siblings and dad- if he’s up to the challenge.
“It’s a battle for sure against Adonis or Adante. We’ve all got our own strengths and that includes a competitive determination to win. And dad, well I hear his voice and I listen to his advice- most of the time,” Jayda said with a chuckle.