Before all the Jeff Capel, Willie Warren and Griffin brothers hype surrounding the University of Oklahoma, a 6-1, buck-seventy pound point guard ran Soonerville. Hollis Price, originally out of New Orleans, was the star of Norman throughout his four years on campus.
During his tenure at OU, Price started all but 13 games and led the 2002 Oklahoma squad to the Final Four as a junior. He was also named Big 12 POY and Second Team All-American by the AP his senior year. His accomplishments from school ball run deep, but Price meant much more to his squad and city.
Price is still one of the most fearless point guards I have ever watched in the NCAA and would play each game like he had a vendetta against his opponents. I relate Price’s play to more recent college grads like Ty Lawson, Aaron Brooks and Darren Collison. Each point guard possessed unquestionable leadership and confidence with the ball in their hands.
After Price’s incredible collegiate career, in which he set a school record in career games won, he watched the NBA Draft come and go without a call. Opting out of settling for less money and more American exposure in the D-League, he headed directly overseas.
So where is Hollis Price now?
Price’s travels have led him through Lithuania, Moscow and Spain among many other stops along the way. Currently, Price is playing for Olimpia Milano in Italy with fellow American and recent ex-Clipper, Alex Acker. Along every stop, Price has become a fan favorite and inspired a bevy of foreign highlight films. Price is still an offensive dynamo, being the high scorer on his Lithuania squad in ’08 and seems content with constantly moving to new organizations. Since his departure from college in 2003, Price has played on six professional teams.
Price is a good example of a great collegiate talent correctly evaluating his professional prospects. Many good college athletes get stuck in the D-Leauge for years pining after the NBA dream (cough Mateen Cleaves) for less money than they would make overseas. I realize that going foreign isn’t for everyone, but wouldn’t you rather improve your game and make more than 40K a year doing it?
But on the real, Mateen Cleaves destroyed defenders while on the Spartans. Now go overseas and tear it up with Price.
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