Blake Griffin dedicates All-Star weekend to his late high school friend
Holloway passed away Wednesday due to complications of Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and Griffin learned of the news immediately after the Clippers’ win at Minnesota. They were high school teammates and Griffin said they had known each other since about age 12.
“He’s just one of those guys that was always positive and always a great guy,” said a teary-eyed Griffin, speaking at a press conference for the NBA All-Star Game. “To see him go through what he did and keep smiling and keep staying positive about it was an inspiration to a lot of people. I’m definitely going to miss him. But I know he’s in a better place right now.”
Griffin also said he will leave after the All-Star game late Sunday night to return to Oklahoma City to attend Holloway’s funeral, which is Monday afternoon. The Clippers play at Oklahoma City Tuesday.
Their bond went beyond high school days. Holloway had been fighting the illness for almost three years.
“He watched almost every single one of my games,” Griffin said. “He was at home a lot, or in the hospital a lot. I know he would have been watching and also the next time I was going to see him would have been Monday when we go to Oklahoma City to play them.“It’s just crazy how it happens. I’m just thankful for the opportunity to be able to do this and hopefully dedicate some of this to him.”
Griffin was distraught after he got the phone call Wednesday night, and said he has been speaking to Holloway’s family members and Holloway’s girlfriend.
“They’ve been together for four-plus years. I’ve talked to her a lot," Griffin said. "Everyone, obviously, is deeply upset. At the same time, he wouldn’t want anybody to feel sorry for him. He wouldn’t want anybody to be upset about it. He’s better now – he’s not hurting and all that.”
-- Lisa Dillman
Photo: Wilson Holloway. Credit: University of Tulsa Athletic Department / Associated Press