Former Panther Jeremy Hollowell could return to Atlanta as a Hawk

NEWARK, DE - JANUARY 3: Jeremy Hollowell #33 for the Erie Bayhawks drives to the hoop against the Delaware 87ers, during an NBA G-League game on January 3, 2018 at Bob Carpenter Center, Newark, DE. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Michael J. LeBrecht II/NBAE via Getty Images)

Atlanta to Erie, Pennsylvania–the dream and reality of former Georgia State men’s basketball star Jeremy Hollowell. Coincidence landed Hollowell in the northern, wintry-weather city playing for the Atlanta Hawks’ G League (formerly the National Basketball Development League) affiliate, the Erie BayHawks.

Erie simply wasn’t on Hollowell’s radar after leading Georgia State to a 20-win season as a senior in 2017.

“To tell you the truth, I was kind of looking at leaving and going overseas at the time,” Hollowell said. “I heard about the tryout and [Erie held it] at Georgia State. I stuck around because I knew I wanted to go to it. I kept my faith strong and prepared for it. I attended it and it went pretty good; it went very good actually.”

Transparency became the name of the game. After the tryouts, the Erie brass told Hollowell they would take him in the draft. Hollowell is the franchise’s first draft pick in team history at No. 18. Erie is one of three expansion teams in the 2017-2018 season, the first year of the rebranded G League.

Hollowell is undergoing a rebranding as well. Basketball is a career for him now. Not that there’s much to do in Erie anyways, Hollowell says he sharpens up at the BayHawks’ workout center during his ‘free-time’, which really isn’t free.

“It’s a lot more attention to detail, a lot more traveling. Sometimes you’ll have a back-to-back. You’ll play one day, and the next day you’ll have to lock in and focus a whole other team,” Hollowell said. “You may not have the time to prepare, so the scouting report and the film is something that you have to be locked into more, as opposed to having a week in college and studying teams all week.”

Along with that, the competition is incomparable as guys are still trying to make it to the next level–the NBA. Should Hollowell receive a call-up from the Atlanta Hawks, he’ll make a special round-trip. He spent three years of his life as a Georgia State Panther in downtown.

“Atlanta is a place I’ll always cherish. It’s kinda like I’m trying to work my way back there. To go from Georgia State to the Hawks would be absolutely insane,” Hollowell said.

While he’s working to return to Atlanta, Hollowell is coming across plenty of familiar faces. His grandparents make a short hour-long trip from Cleveland, Ohio to watch him compete.

Fellow Panther R.J. Hunter faced off against Hollowell in January, each scoring 18 apiece. Hollowell and Hunter’s history began in Indiana, dating back to the third grade. He’s competed against a number of Sun Belt peers as well.

“To run back across against those guys, it’s been humbling and at the same time it shows that I’m in kind of in the right place at the right time, you can’t really rush things. Just glad to be where I am and look forward to forwarding my career,” Hollowell said.

Hollowell’s position looks ideal right now, but the journey was far from it. Overcoming the bumps on the road is Hollowell’s favorite memory of becoming a professional.

Nearing the the end of his fifth year in school, Hollowell locked into completing his degree–and admittedly fell out of shape. Hollowell couldn’t take advantage of his workouts with the Los Angeles Lakers and Toronto Raptors.

“Then, people would look at me like, ‘So you had those workouts, but how did they go? They must not have went well,’” Hollowell said. “They just didn’t really know the whole jist of it. So it looked like my chances of making it were slim.”

He came out unscathed.

“I just kept my faith, I got my degree finished. After I got my degree finished I was able to focus on playing basketball,” Hollowell said.

Hollowell is averaging 8.6 points, 3.8 rebounds and 1.2 assists on 45.4 percent shooting. This high flight with the BayHawks may soar him back into downtown with the Atlanta Hawks.

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