February 27, 2020 - Cardinal Stritch Guard Joey Holifield

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OREGON, Ohio (WTVG) - Joey Holifield is one reason behind the recent run for Cardinal Stritch on the hardwood. He's now second on the school's all-time scoring list.

"Coach (Jamie Kachmarik) has installed it in me to work hard to get what you want, and my family has always been like that to work hard," Holifield said. "So it is just in me to work as hard as I can."

Also throw in that Holifield now has more than 500 career rebounds.

"I've been boxing out one time (and) I've just seen a huge figure just come across my face and go up and snag it," Cardinal Stritch forward Ben Dunsmore said. "He's so strong. He works out all the time."

But life did not start out easy for Joey at Cardinal Stritch.

"He use to be a little bit immature and have anger issues after the game being upset," Dunsmore said. "He's grown out of that a lot. (He) takes losses a lot better like lessons and stuff like that."

From sixth grade to ninth grade, Holifield lived with his uncle as Joey's dad spent three years in prison.

"I hated just phone calls with my dad," Holifield said. "I just wanted to see him. I was just like, 'You know, I have to do something to make him happy.' He can't see me so I have to turn basketball into something I love. I just worked extremely hard at it."

"When big Joey was able to come back around, you could tell that Joey's confidence changed," Cardinal Stritch head coach Jamie Kachmarik said. "Not only in himself, but everything he was doing."

Now, Holifield wants a little bit more this year, including a return trip to Columbus.

"All these accomplishments that he's got individually, the thing that's become big since he's been here -- we have district titles, we have a regional title, we made it to state, we won the (Toledo Area Athletic Conference) two times and the school never had a TAAC or a championship like that," Kachmarik said. "A lot of that credit is just because of him and his hard work. Now we've had good teammates and other guys, but Joey is a big part of the success we've had here."

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