Holman, Aaron : Jews In Sports @ Virtual Museum

Holman, Aaron

One of the younger brothers of Hall of Fame coach and player Nat Holman, Aaron Holman played at New York University in 1920 and helped the school win the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) championship that year.

Birth and Death Dates:
b. Nov 11, 1900 - d. Feb 12, 1990

Career Highlights:
A backup forward for NYU in 1920, Holman became a regular member of what is still considered to be one of the greatest teams in the school's history and one of the best collegiate teams in the East during the early years of the 20th Century. Teamed with future NYU coach (and member of the Basketball Hall of Fame) Howard Cann and All-America guard Mac Baker (the only other Jewish member of the NYU team), Holman helped lead the Violets to a 16-1 record during the regular season. Included among the wins was a 39-21 victory over rival CCNY (City College of New York) in the final game of the season. The match was played at the 22nd Regiment Armory in front of 10,000 people, the largest crowd to see a basketball game in New York City to that point. In fact, this showdown has been viewed as one of the most important games in the early years of Basketball in New York. Holman played in the game, but did not start.

Although NYU was not given a chance to compete for the collegiate national championship (Penn refused to play the New Yorkers), they competed in the National AAU tournament, where they ably demonstrated their talents. The Violets crushed the Houston Athletic Club in their first game, 86-21, and then trounced the defending champs Los Angeles in the quarterfinals (36-22 -- Holman did not play). In the semifinals, they beat a tough Kansas City squad 43-23 before beating Rutgers in the final, 49-24 to capture the AAU title (Holman played in the final but did not score).

Aaron returned to the NYU team in 1921 as a starting forward, and, along with captain Baker, led them to a 12-1 record. NYU's only loss during the season was a 24-11 beating at the hands of Penn, who repeated as national champions that year.

New York City

Career Dates:
Holman played forward at NYU in 1920-21.

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encyclopedia of JEWS in sports, by Bernard Postal, Jesse Silver, and Roy Silver (New York: Bloch Publishing Co., 1965)
New York Times, March 7, 11-14, 1920