Every week the loudest cheer on the introduction line is most often for the uniquely undersized leader of the Sharks BJ Holmes. Standing at 5’10inches tall BJ (Bryan James) is the smallest guy in the game, but nonetheless has some of the biggest games that have seen the Sharks win some incredible games. We caught up with BJ on his day off to find out how you become the best in a sport that requires height and what it means to be part of the tallest game in town.
The competition of gaining a place in the professional sports world is estimated to be a lower chance than winning the lottery and so the achievement is even greater when you consider the clear physical differences in height that BJ has to most of his counter parts.
“Sometimes I feel like the only kid on the field trip and I’m with all the grown-ups, but occasionally I get to meet up with someone else who matches me and they are usually in the same position,” said Holmes.
Despite the reference to his child-like build, the court general as he is termed is often looked up to in the metaphorical sense as a leader of men and with the obvious differences the question is how does he manage to court the level of respect required to manage a team.
“If you play hard, and I do need to work that little bit harder than most of the bigger guys to get to the basket, then you prove your worth and you get respect. I still have to score and have the vision to get the ball in the right hands” continued Holmes. “I basically make myself a pest on defence or as I’m told, often I am like a gnat on a barbecue!”
So the answer is that no matter what your height is or your frame is if you have a desire to be the best at something then you can find a way to achieve your goals.
“Basketball gave me a high level of education, it has given me a life and worldwide travel, I may be small in height but I have a big personality and that I believe is reflected on the court and in the support I get from the best fans in the business”.
BJ can be seen this Sunday at the EISS when the Sharks face the London Lions, the pre cursor to the Trophy semi-final which takes place on Friday 13th in London.