Delaware’s Kory Holden eases the pain with well turned phrases and words


Why do you cry? It could be for many reasons. Maybe it’s tears of joy, maybe it’s happiness coming out of you, or like most of the time, it’s fear or pain. Life…Something that can’t be defined, Love….Something that messed up one’s state of mind. Death…Something we all will look in the face. But GOD…The powerful king that instilled in us what we call faith. We all go through what we go through. But it’s up to us to make it better. We all hope to come out dry in the stormy wet weather. Feeling lost is just a stage. A moment we can bare. ‘Cause right when you feel like it’s over, the great king will be right there. Picking you up, putting the pieces back together. A leader leads with the God given wisdom from above. Giving one courage, hope, faith, not hate but love. Friends are temporary, pain is too. So overcome all the things that weigh you down to become something stronger.

– Kory Holden

Kory Holden was bored one afternoon when he was a junior in high school. To fill the time he started to come up with lyrics to rap songs. Within minutes he realized he was not going to be the next great music mogul, so he altered his course and began to write poetry.

Verses rather than lyrics proved to be something with which he was much more adept. Holden has since turned to writing poetry when he feels the need to express something, or simply to escape.

“I was just bored one day and tried to start writing rap songs,” said Delaware’s sophomore point guard. “That didn’t go too well, so I turned it into an expression of my feelings, how I was feeling that day. It is something I do when basketball is not helping me cope with things.”

At first it was tough for Holden to cope with what was taking place on the hardwood last season at Delaware. At James M. Bennett High School in Salisbury, Md., he was named conference player of the year following his junior and senior seasons when the Clippers went a combined 34-9. Holden was a three-time team MVP and broke the school’s career scoring mark.

Last season the Blue Hens lost their first 11 games, which was a very frustrating experience for all concerned, but especially for a decorated high school player accustomed to winning. But as part of the poem above states, ‘We all go through what we go through. But it’s up to us to make it better.’

Holden helped make it better. The Blue Hens won 10 of their final 18 regular-season games, broke even in conference play and Holden was named to the Colonial Athletic Association All-Rookie Team after finishing second among conference freshmen in scoring with an average of 12.6 points per game and second overall in assists at 5.0.

“In the beginning it was tough to go from winning so many games every year to going 0-11 at the start,” he said. “So it was tough for me, but coach kept telling me we are young and we are going to be great. I trusted him and that’s why I came here. We stuck with it and we eventually got better.”

Things needed to get better off the court when Holden was in high school, and they did. What he characterized as “family decisions” resulted in multiple moves from Maryland to Georgia and back. As the poem concludes, ‘So overcome all the things that weigh you down to become something stronger.’

“I have a great support system at home, so that helped me get through life situations and just having to learn from my mistakes, stuff like that,” said Holden, the oldest of six siblings with the youngest a 2-year-old sister. “Learning a lot about life has helped me become who I am today.”

While the moving did not disrupt his time at Bennett, it certainly had a profound effect on Holden, who was an honor-roll student.

“It helped me grow up a lot faster,” he said. “I knew I had to play my part with my family and continue to be there for my mom when she needed me and be there for my siblings while continuing to try to play basketball at the same time. It was hard managing all of it, but I got through it.”

The health behavioral science major, who was averaging 12.0 points and 5.6 assists through the Blue Hens’ (3-2) first five games, desires to have a career that keeps him active in the athletic forum. He might want to be a trainer or strength coach when he is done with basketball. For now, he would love nothing more than to author a memorable chapter in UD basketball.

“(Personal accolades) give me a great feeling and just make me want to work harder,” he said. “But I want to try to win championships. That’s what it is about.”

Above: Delaware’s Kory Holden has turned to writing poetry to help him deal with things aren’t working out (Courtesy Mark Campbell/UD Photo Services)



Tom Layberger

Tom Layberger

Tom Layberger is a freelance writer based in Glen Mills, Pa.