Photo by Sam Mizelle/ultimaterecruit
The Athlete-Student: Freshman Year by Eugene Holloman sets the record straight on the realities of life as a college athlete
by Andy Hilton, recruit757
As an student-athlete at Bayside, Eugene Holloman was on the fast track. Now over a decade later, Holloman shares his experiences through fiction.
His new book, “The Athlete-Student: Freshman Year,” is meant to give readers a glimpse into the life and trials of a young and aspiring athlete.
While writing numerous research papers on leadership, Eugene decided to write his first fictional novel. His goal is to reach as many student-athletes and youth as possible in hopes that this story will benefit them, as Eugene believes having such an inspiring read would have been highly impactful when he was in high school.
The Athlete-Student: Freshman Year is a fictional novel about a young man who only has one dream, becoming a professional athlete. But, before he can reach his goals, he first has to go through college. This novel takes you on a ride through this young man’s journey in his freshman year of college as he balances academics, athletics, college parties, girls, drugs, alcohol, peer-pressure, teammates, coaches and everything else young men deal with on a college campus.
Few can understand the journey until they’ve experienced it. Holloman explains his inspiration and the impact he wants to have on athletes and their parents as they look to take on the challenges that lie ahead.
““Athletics is generally the first gift found. It is discovered as early as 4 or 5 years old. So, from 5 years old to say about 22 years old, time is spent nourishing that gift with hopes of making to the league. And in most cases, if there is an opportunity to go to college, it is used as a ladder to get to the next level,” said Holloman of his experience with recruiting and heading to college.
“The easiest majors are often chosen, and if you aren’t part of the less than 3% of NCAA athletes to make it professionally, you could be stuck saying ‘WHAT THE HECK AM I GOING TO DO WITH MY LIFE?’ after college.”
“So through this novel, I’m trying to encourage every athlete to identify their gifts outside of athletics ASAP. Work hard in achieving your goal but have a backup plan if it does not work out. Research college majors and the types of jobs you could land. I can’t stress how important of having a solid backup plan is.”
Holloman speaks from experience. After Bayside, he went on to play for James Madison University.
The two-time all-conference running back saw his plans derailed after tearing ligaments in his knee his senior year.
That injury caused him to have two significant surgeries.
He eventually dropped off of all NFL draft boards and became devastated after graduating college.
Holloman graduated with a degree in a major simple enough to keep him eligible, but it was also a field of study that disinterested him.
Eugene quickly regretted not taking school more seriously. He spent the next four years in his parents’ home battling depression from not achieving his goals of playing in the NFL. Eugene eventually enrolled in a master’s program to pursue his MBA while working as an elementary school tutor and sales rep for a high-end suit retailer.
While not making enough money to pay for school, he eventually landed an entry-level job at a Fortune 500 healthcare company. Soon thereafter, he applied and was hired to the company’s leadership development program.
Eugene is now a corporate compliance manager for the same company and is currently pursuing his doctoral degree at Regent University.
Success didn’t come easily.
Every athlete’s path is unique, and Holloman wants his book to help student-athletes and their parents understand how dreams can be dashed, but proper planning can help you overcome obstacles.
You can find out more about the book and order it here on Amazon.com.
– Andy Hilton