Natural leader: St. Peter’s coach Shaheen Holloway got his start in New Jersey
St. Peter’s University men’s basketball coach Shaheen Holloway may be from Queens, but he is New Jersey’s adopted son. Not just because he coaches in the Garden State, but he also played college and high school ball in New Jersey as well.
Holloway played basketball at St. Patrick’s in Elizabeth and at Seton Hall University. He was named Most Valuable Player in a national All-Star game – a game that also featured Kobe Bryant.
“He was so competitive. I don’t care if it was to make a free throw – whatever it was, there was nothing minor to him,” St. Patrick School coach Chris Chavannes.
While Holloway was playing for St. Patrick’s, big-name colleges were chasing him.
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Greg Herenda helped to recruit Holloway to Seton Hall. They still talk about basketball strategy today. Herenda says that even back then, Holloway was a natural leader.
“Every gym he’s ever gone in, it revolved around Shaheen,” Herenda says.
Holloway will not share a gym this weekend with college basketball powerhouses like Purdue, North Carolina and UCLA.
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The last New Jersey team to make it to the NCAA tournament’s Sweet 16 was Holloway’s Seton Hall squad in 2000. Holloway got hurt and could not play.
Now that the St. Peter’s Peacocks have made it to the Sweet 16, Holloway won’t let anyone make it about him.
“It’s about [my players]. They put all the hard work in. My playing days are over with,” he said.
But Holloway’s coaching days are just beginning.
“He’s tough. And I’m very, very tough,” says Chavannes says. “There’s times I’ve been to his practice and I’m like, ‘Oh my.’”
Chavannes mentored Holloway at St. Patrick’s. But he says that he now reaching out to Holloway for advice. He says that he sees Holloway as a son and says Holloway’s success won’t go to his head.