Theft sours visit for Jets import

GEORGE HEAGNEY
Last updated 12:00 23/04/2013
Garrius Holloman
MURRAY WILSON/Fairfax NZ
MISSING SOMETHING: Manawatu Jets import Garrius Holloman is gutted to have had his college championship ring stolen.

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He just wants his ring back.

Manawatu Jets import Garrius Holloman received a rude welcome to New Zealand after the American returned from the team's win over the Bay Hawks on Friday night to find his room had been burgled and his college championship ring stolen.

Holloman and the rest of the team had been on a high after the 74-71 win over the Hawks. But he got a surprise to find someone had broken into his room and stolen his bag which contained the ring, from when he won a title with Bethune-Cookman University in Florida.

"It was the first championship ever in the school's history," the American said. "I was a part of history; it's really important to me.

"It played a real big part in getting the school noticed. Me and my team did a real good job, and I want to keep that part of my history."

The 23-year-old said everything had been going well in his short stay in New Zealand, until the break-in, where they also took his iPad and other gear.

He is in New Zealand on a short-term basis as a replacement for Marcel Jones who gets back from Romania on Thursday.

Holloman is returning home to Wichita, Kansas, on May 8, so he doesn't have long to find the ring before he leaves and would have to buy another one if it doesn't turn up.

The 2.02m swingman isn't bothered about only being here on a temporary basis and said he was helping the Jets and they were helping him.

Holloman played for Bethune-Cookman for two seasons where he was one of their top players in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, averaging 10.8 points per game and 6.4 rebounds.

In 2011, Bethune-Cookman finished as regular-season champions where Holloman earned his ring, before losing in the semifinals, then in 2012 they finished the regular season in fourth place and lost in the final to Norfolk State 73-70.

After that he spent time playing in Ohio, before participating at the European Summer League Camp in Las Vegas last year and played for the Bloomington Flex in Illinois in the Premier Basketball League. He never expected he would end up playing in Palmerston North.

"It could have been a possibility to go anywhere. I kept my eyes and ears and everything open. Just anything that's going to come up. It's a great place."

Even though he's here for such a short time, he would consider coming back, saying the New Zealand league was a good competition.

The theft is now a police matter, but the Jets have said if the ring is handed in to the Manawatu Standard, no questions would be asked.

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Jeremiah Trueman has returned to Australia for his end-of-season commitments with the Perth Wildcats and will be back in Palmerston North on May 6 so he could be available for the Jets' second game against the Wellington Saints on May 7.

The Jets host the Super City Rangers on Thursday.

- The Manawatu Standard

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