Basketball pro drops by Merritt Secondary School

By on December 6, 2017
Basketball pro Damen Bell-Holter shot some hoops with the senior boys' basketball team at Merritt Secondary School, before imparting on them some sage advice. (Photo contributed).


The students and staff at Merritt Secondary School had a special guest pay a visit last week — professional basketball player Damen Bell-Holter.

The 27-year-old Bell-Holter is a full-blooded member of the Haida First Nations from Hydaburg, Alaska, a small community of 350 people located on Prince of Wales Island.

Following an outstanding high school career, the six-foot nine-inch, 245-pound Bell-Holter went on to play four years of NCAA Division 1 college basketball at Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Damen Bell-Holter played a number of pre-season games with the Boston Celtics in 2013. (Photo contributed).

In 2013, Bell-Holter attended the training camp of the NBA’s Boston Celtics and played in some preseason games. He went on to play that year for the Maine Red Claws of the NBA’s D-League before signing on with a series of professional teams in Europe.

Bell-Holter currently plays for Fortitudo Agrigento of the Italian Serie A2. While at MSS, Bell-Holter coached a junior boys’ practice, scrimmaged with the senior boys’ squad, and gave some inspirational talks to classes at the school.

His message was one of overcoming obstacles, meeting challenges and living out one’s dream.

“If I can come from a small village in Alaska to playing [basketball] at the NCAA Division 1 level, then anything is possible. The more I work with kids, it makes me hungrier to spread my story and inspire as many kids as possible.”

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