Sixers' Jrue Holiday: Big brother is my opposite

Justin Holiday is a strong defender, his brother said. Like Michael Cooper, 76ers coach Doug Collins said.
Justin Holiday is a strong defender, his brother said. Like Michael Cooper, 76ers coach Doug Collins said. (AP)
Posted: April 03, 2013

Jrue and Justin Holiday have beaten some incredibly long odds as brothers who will play on the same NBA team.

The Holidays became 76ers teammates after Justin, 23, was called up this weekend from the Idaho Stampede of the NBA Development League. The Sixers waived guard Jeremy Pargo to make room for Justin on their 15-man roster. The 6-foot-6, 180-pound guard, who practiced with the team on Monday, is signed through the rest of the season.

"Now I get to play with [Jrue] at the highest level," Justin Holiday said. "That's one of the biggest and most exciting things that has happened to me."

"My praying paid off," said 22-year-old Jrue Holiday, who just added a housemate. "I've been praying all season, 'Somebody call him up.' I'm just happy it was us."

There are two other brother tandems playing in the NBA this season: Philadelphia natives Markieff and Marcus Morris on the Phoenix Suns, and Tyler and Ben Hansbrough with the Pacers.

The Holiday brothers are teammates for the first time since they played together at Campbell Hall School in North Hollywood, Calif. They led Campbell to a 33-1 record and a California Division IV state championship in Justin's senior season.

Jrue described his brother as a defender who is "really athletic. So I guess the opposite of me. He can shoot the ball well and passes the ball well. I guess he does a little bit of everything."

Justin Holiday is more outgoing than his laid-back younger brother. Jrue said their sister, Lauren, a freshman guard at UCLA, is the most athletic sibling, followed by Justin. Another brother, Aaron Holiday, is a freshman guard at Campbell Hall.

Justin went undrafted after his senior season at Washington and played professionally in Belgium last season. He averaged 11.8 points for the Sixers in the Orlando Pro Summer League in July. This season in the D-League, he averaged 17.3 points.

"I think I'll be a guy that will play on both sides of the floor," he said. "I think I will be able to help, especially defensively."

"He reminds me a little bit of Michael Cooper, you know, who played for the Lakers," coach Doug Collins said. "This summer his defense was very good off the ball. He had a very good awareness of being able to get in and help from the weakside."

Collins and general manager Tony DiLeo said they consulted with Jrue on Saturday before acquiring his older brother. The Sixers were concerned that if they had to release his older brother, it would affect their NBA all-star.

"Jrue was very, very excited," Collins said. "So it will be fine."

Contact Keith Pompey at Follow him on Twitter @pompeysgridlock.

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