By John Askounis/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Not a common sight in basketball courts anywhere. Standing at 1.68m, David Holston not only confidently guides JDA Dijon, but takes names in the process. The Chicago State alumni has made a home for himself in the city of eastern France lifting his team to unprecedented heights.
Last season, Dijon managed to pick up four wins debuting in the Basketball Champions League. Sixth place in Group C was the result. Last Wednesday clinched a playoffs spot by improving to 8-3 in Group D. The French team is on pace to secure home-court advantage for the Round of 16 and potentially for the quarterfinals as well.
The 33-year-old American point guard saw most of his shots bounce off the rim at the PAOK Sports Arena, but enjoyed clutch efforts in the last minute. With 56 seconds left, his three threw the visitors up 82-77. He added another bucket for the 84-77 lead with 24 seconds to go. His five straight points made the difference at Thessaloniki.
Eight points with 1/7 twos and 2/6 threes was not breathtaking, but his clutch shots were. In just over 26 minutes tallied eight assists and six rebounds as well. His 13.2 points, 7.4 dimes and 2.6 rebounds per 2019-20 BCL appearance certainly draw an early MVP bid.
A strong start to the second half had Dijon up 15, but PAOK responded and regained the lead. Victory almost slipped out of reach, at least until Holston banked those clutch points.
“It’s a characteristic of our team. We never give up even in tough situations” mentioned head coach Laurent Legname following the Regular Season Gameday 11 affair, “We don’t want to lose without giving 200% on the court.”
“Every player is very important”
The “W” allowed the French outlet to punch a playoffs ticket. “This victory is very important. Good victory for us and we are happy” said Abdoulaye Loum in the press conference after his six points and four rebounds for the night.
“I can count on every player on my team,” added Legname in the presser stressing on the reliability of all available members of his roster, “Every player is very important.”
Leading his team in assists and holding second place in points has Holston among the most valuable players for sure. He also averages 11.8 points, 6.1 assists, 2.6 rebounds and 1.7 steals per Jeep Elite Pro A appearance so far with Dijon up 15-3 in the French League.
Fifth run at Dijon
Going through his fifth campaign in France and his second in the Champions League with La Jeanne has become an established force. Apart his current team, has also played professionally in Germany and Turkey, but Dijon is the place he shines the most.
Up next: Playoffs
A couple of home games versus Casademont Zaragoza and Besiktas Sompo Sigorta plus a trip to Germany to face Telekom Baskets Bonn are left. First place will be very likely even with two more wins. In any case, marching forward in the playoffs is the next target for the ambitious French club.
Photo Credit: Basketball Champions League