By Susan Salter Reynolds
Levi Holmes III '19 is a little tired.
Between the double major in Economics and Mathematics, being captain of the men's basketball team, and showing up for local high school kids and special needs students in a variety of "Dream Events," Holmes works hard to "keep a clear mind."
A typical day? 7 a.m. workout, classes from 8 to 10, another workout, lunch, more classes, another workout or pick-up game, dinner, then homework. If there's any time to rest, maybe an episode or two of Breaking Bad, or The Office.
Holmes has, from an early age, excelled in mathematics. It's tough to get him to say anything remotely self-congratulatory, but he does admit that math has always been pretty easy for him (he's been inducted into the august Pi Mu Epsilon U.S. honorary national mathematics society, founded in 1914). It's much tougher to get him to admit to being a star athlete on the Saint Michael's campus (he recently hit the 1,000 career points mark). "It's a small community," he demurs. "Everyone knows everyone."
Holmes has been playing basketball more or less since he could walk, but more seriously since eighth grade. He was a star player and captain of the team in his New Jersey high school. When the
choice of college came down to two possibilities, Holmes explains that Saint Michael's felt right. (And that he wanted to get out of New Jersey.) At St. Mike's, he has been the recipient of an Arthur Ashe Sports Scholarship.
Eighth grade is when Holmes "locked in on what's important, outside of family," which is the most important thing to him. "My parents have a lot to do with who I am," he says. "They faced real adversity growing up, worked so hard to give us a better life, and have sacrificed so much for us, including sending me to private school." Holmes has three siblings, a younger brother and an older brother and sister. He narrowed his focus down to basketball and academics, and hasn't looked back. While the math comes easily, the reading and writing are harder. "You can't have
everything," says his wise mother.
"Time management has been tough," he admits. "And staying level-headed, not getting too anxious about what I can and can't get to. You put in your best effort. Then you breathe. Life happens."
Holmes's parents have come to almost all of his games—his dad to every game, sometimes twice a week. Will he play professionally after college? "I'm not sure. I talk to my parents about it a lot." He's hoping to do an internship this summer in an insurance or financial firm, and may go into data analytics or actuarial work after graduating. "One day I say, 'yes, I can give up basketball,' the next day I say 'no way,'" he says. In the meantime, "I'll just keep on doing what I'm doing."
He's off to practice, and has two final papers due by the end of the week. Maybe he'll fit in a phone call home. "My family is everything to me. The least I can do for them is give it my all."
NOT TO MENTION…
• Named the 13th CoSIDA Academic All-American across ALL sports.
• Led the Northeast-10 Conference in scoring (24.1), matching the best scoring average by a St. Mike's player since 1964-65.
• Top 12 across all of NCAA Division II in four stat categories, leading all East Region players in each category.
• Levi's 43 points scored on January 31, 2018, were the most by a St. Mike's player in 51 years.
Read more on Levi Holmes III at smcvt.edu/magazine