Tanner Holden | Photo by Joseph Craven
Tanner Holden is going into his sophomore season on the Wright State University (WSU) basketball team after being named to the Horizon League All-Freshman Team last year.
Holden averaged 12.1 points per game and 6.5 rebounds per game after starting 30 regular-season games as a true freshman. He is looking to improve on what he did last year as his confidence and game continue to grow.
“Me and my dad spent a lot of time in the gym this offseason, just getting shots up and getting my shot consistent. Just getting bigger, stronger and faster, and I think it was a good time to get away and really focus on myself and get my mind right,” said Holden.
WSU had one of their best overall seasons last year in school history with a 25-7 regular-season record. Despite this, the team didn’t finish where they wanted to after falling short against UIC in the Horizon League Tournament.
“We didn’t play our best against UIC and they came out and they wanted it more than us and that’s what motivated me, because I don’t want anyone to want something more than me,” said Holden.
According to Holden, that loss has been a driving force in the work that Holden has put in this off season. He is confident in the work he has put in and he trusts the coaching staff to put him in the best situation possible.
“Last year we had our mindset on getting to the Horizon League tournament and winning that. That’s a huge learning thing for us, to use the momentum we had in the regular season and use that towards the tournament,” said Holden.
This has been an unprecedented off season, but Holden is eager to get the season started and feels this is one of the best teams he has ever been a part of.
“I think this is a really, really special group…just throughout practice everyone is competing and everyone is working hard and I think that’s going to be a huge boost for us,” said Holden.
The team had to work out and practice in groups because of the protocols in place, so it has been a somewhat strange off season in trying to build the chemistry within the team.
This did not deter Holden from focusing on basketball and trying to improve, but the uncertainty surrounding the season was tough when trying to prepare, according to Holden.
“You’re always thinking in your head that ‘I hope I get to show people what I’m made of and what this team can do’,” said Holden.
The WSU basketball team is still awaiting a decision from the Horizon League on their schedules for the season. The NCAA announced that the earliest the season can start is Nov. 25.