Washington’s Saturday night game against USC will mark the final Hec Ed appearances for seniors Justin Holiday, Matthew Bryan-Amaning and Venoy Overton.
Here’s some of what coach Lorenzo Romar had to say about this class, collectively and individually:
“They’ve been a part of a lot of success. It’s been great to see each guy – in his own way – how he’s contributed to this program.
“Justin just has ‘winner’ written all over him. When he came in here some questioned were we only taking him to get his brother Jrue. That wasn’t the case, and I think everybody can see why that wasn’t the case. Justin has a chance to play at the next level, and I think he’s worked hard enough to improve and impress people. (mono as freshman, staph infection as soph, junior year out of summer) …
“(Bryan-Amaning) has become, I don’t think there is any question, an all-conference guy. He’s one of the top rebounders in our entire league. That wasn’t his forte necessarily when he first came in. So it’s been good to see him mature in that area.
“Venoy will be a guy that people will always remember when they talk about these teams. He has changed games. Whatever it was, he got something going when he’s come into the games. He’s provided a lot of fun and excitement for people to watch. He’s provided a lot of fun and excitement for me.
Romar said all three have a chance to go on to play in pro leagues. And he said the class ranks among UW’s best, especially when you factor in Darnell Gant who chose to redshirt.
“When you look at the end result, I think they stack up there pretty high,” Romar said. “Guys always talk about the stars in front of their name. There weren’t a lot of stars in front of these guys names when they came in. But they have a chance to play beyond college and they helped us win a lot of games.”
Finally, Romar was asked how he’ll feel when the three players are introduced at home for the last time:
“Jon Brockman and I were laughing about this on his Senior Day,” Romar said. “Him and I were both doing the same thing. As he was walking out we were both thinking of other things, like movies you watched when you were a kid or something so that you wouldn’t tear up. I talked to the team (Thursday) night. I just mentioned, ‘Saturday’s going to be your last night.’ I could hardly finish the sentence. When they come through that tunnel for the last time, man. You spend all these years with these guys. You’ve gone through things with them behind closed doors, good, bad. You’ve watched them grow. I come to practice every day, fired up just to see his face. You’re family. And to know they’re going to be doing fine, but you’re not going to have that opportunity to be with them all the time. It gets tough.”