USA TODAY High School Sports is launching a series called “60 for ’16” to highlight 60 members of the Class of 2016 who we will be watching in the coming 12 months. The athletes were selected by the USA TODAY HSS staff.
Name: Joyner Holmes
School: Cedar Hill (Texas)
Sport: Girls basketball
What we’ve seen: Holmes was an honorable mention for the Naismith Trophy girls basketball All-America teams, one of four juniors among the 15 players who received honorable mention accolades.
Holmes is the No. 2 overall player in ESPN’s class of 2016 rankings behind only Flower Mound’s Lauren Cox, who is also a power forward from Texas.
“When I get on the court, I just play. I don’t play to be in rankings or impress anybody, I just play,” Holmes told the Daily Press in Virginia this spring at a Nike EYBL stop. “I mean, rankings do matter, at some point, but regardless, I just go out there and play, play for me, play for my pride.”
Holmes stands at 6-foot-3 and was part of the 2014 FIBA U17 World Championship All-Tournament Team with Team USA.
Holmes said this to USABasketball of being cut from the U16 team in 2013 team then coming back and making the U17 team: “I just learned that consistency is the key to everything. If you start off strong, you will finish strong. That way you have a better chance of making the team. Last year, I was a little bit nervous. I started off very weak in the first two days, and as the week progressed, I progressed as well, but I didn’t make the team.”
Holmes also participates in the 100-meter dash, long jump and triple jump on the Cedar Hill girls track and field team. She is named for track legend Jackie Joyner-Kersee.
Why we’re watching: Holmes has yet to commit to a college and, according to a story by the Daily Press in Virginia, Holmes has narrowed her list to four schools but declined to reveal them.
Here’s what ESPN had to say from Holmes’ performance at the April 2015 Boo Williams Invitational: “Continues to elevate skills and offer versatility at nearly every position; handles in transition, exploits mismatches, explodes to rim, pounds glass, makes plays; impact prospect at the collegiate level.”
The school she signs with will get a nice combination of size and athleticism, as the video below shows, along with some quick hands and guard skills in the open court.