Willie Green, Eli Holman honored Saturday


Sometimes, the weekend brings a busy mix of work, errands and family obligations.

But for two former Titan basketball players, this past weekend brought an extraordinary honor.

Eli Holman, 2012, and Willie Green, 2003, were inducted into the Titan Hall of Fame and saw their jersey numbers, 32 wore 34, respectively, retired.

Both achieved many personal goals inside and outside Calihan Hall.

Holman went on after college to play professionally in the CBA (Chinese Basketball Association) for teams like the Zhejiang Lions, Tianjin Gold Lions and Jilin Northeast Tigers, averaging a career double-double with 15.3 points and 10 rebounds. He is still playing.

Willie Green played 12 seasons in the NBA after getting drafted by the Seattle SuperSonics. He later became an assistant coach for the Golden State Warriors in 2016, winning two titles with them, before landing another assistant coaching role, this time with the Phoenix Suns in summer 2019.

Although they were on different paths professionally, the two share some of the same priorities; God, family and profession.

During their acceptance speeches at Calihan Hall Saturday, both shared their strong connections with their faith.

“It’s a blessing for me,” said Holman. “God gave (me) the ability and courage.”

He acknowledged “my family and my support base, who supported through thick and thin, good and bad. And that’s huge.”

Holman has started the Eli Holman Foundation, a charity to advance education, physical health and civic responsibility through life-skills training for those from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Holman also is a supporter and donor to many of the athletic programs like basketball and lacrosse.

Of his time as a Titan, Holman said he will always cherish capturing a Horizon League Championship.

“The road to that championship was a rocky one but we got there and shared it with these great guys,” said Holman.

Green is also a big supporter as he acknowledged all the people who were with him on his professional journey.

“It takes a lot of people to help one individual to reach their goal,” said Green.

Although Green hadn’t seen many former teammates in some time, he said it was like seeing his brothers again.

Green is fourth in all-time scoring for the Titans and was a former Horizon League Player of the Year.

His NBA career saw him play stints with the 76ers, Hornets, Clippers and Magic.

A crazy weekend for the two Hall of Famers was wrapped with a bow, as Titan Alonde LeGrand hit a baseline last-second shot for a 70-69 win against the Flames on Saturday.

It was a weekend of love, faith and victory for the two Titan legends.