Hey, I am JR Holden currently playing basketball for CSKA Moscow. I have been in Europe for 11 years and 7 of them right here in Moscow, Russia.  I started in Latvia, then to Belgium for 2 years, a quick year stop in Athens Greece and then to my second home now, Moscow, Russia.  I have even been blessed to play in the Olympics for the Russian Men’s Basketball National Team. It was absolutely amazing being part of the 2008 Olympics in Beijing (I will speak on that topic more at another time).

The team I am on, CSKA, won the Euroleague last year and is fighting to try and have a chance to repeat this season. We lost some very good players from that championship team but we also added some nice players this season that gives us a chance to repeat.  I think the Euroleague is wide open this year.  There are a lot of teams that are evenly matched and the teams that may not get a lot of press are also good teams. If those teams get hot and get a nice rhythm at the right time they could very easily be competing to win the Euroleague this season as well. Well, I am excited about the year and what we can accomplish as a team. Stay tuned, CSKA is still a good team and a team to be reckoned with.

On another note, I am honored to be writing a column for a good friend of mine, David Hein. I have never written a column before but I am looking forward to the challenge and hopefully keeping you interested and checking back to read more. I am going to write on a range of sports topics from European basketball to American football, NBA basketball, futbol (soccer to us Americans :-)) and much more. If you have any remarks, questions or maybe even topics that you may want me to write about, don’t hesitate to e-mail me at jrholdencolumn@yahoo.com I can’t promise I will write on the topic you ask but I will keep all suggestions in mind and try and make all the readers of this column happy.

Right now the baseball World Series is going on in the USA. I haven’t followed baseball as much as I should have this season but I am definitely into the World Series. The two teams in the World Series were not picked by hardly anyone (especially sportswriters) to make it this far and that makes for an interesting twist and story in baseball right now. The Philadelphia Phillies are a good team that this season to many have overachieved. They have been playing their best baseball at the right time. What can I say about the Tampa Bay Rays? They were one of the worst teams in baseball last year. This year they are playing for the World Series. That turn around is amazing. They also have one of my favorite players in baseball, B.J. Upton. Although, I am cheering for the Phillies because I am a Pennsylvania guy, I won’t be hurt or upset at all if the Rays win it. What they have done this season is incredible. By the way, the series is 1-1 as I am writing this.

Until next time, take care and God Bless…




  1. Pat Flannery says:

    You better be rooting for the Phillies…….did you tell them you just went into Bucknell’s Hall of fame. What’s your hockey pick in the Pacific Nothwest????? You will have fun with this I’m sure. Proud of you buddy!!!!!

  2. Write about how I came to Athens and beat up on you in Madden so bad that you were throwing the stick at the TV!!! LOL!!! Naw, I’m just messin’ with you. But on a more serious note, what do you think of all this talk about players who are stars in the NBA possibly leaving to come and play in Europe for what they believe could be a better payday? I believe the grass is not greener on the other side for a guy who’s already a star in the League. Come on man…picture Kobe or LeBron leaving the NBA to come and play in Europe. I think it would be the ultimate slap in the face to the American people. A lot of those guys are in for a rude awakening if they leave the best job on Earth to come play in Europe. I think the people would love to hear what you have to say about this topic.

  3. Puerto Rico says:

    Whats up Jay?? Glad to see you doing something besides running up and down the court! Lol.. I will tune in and see what you have to say in this column and heckle you from time to time as well. I wish you and CSKA a wonderful season and I also wish you a safe return home after the season. Take care…!

  4. Dave says:

    Hey JR.
    column looks great.
    What happened to the Stealers? 1-10 third down, 0-4 fourth plus four turnovers?
    one word – OUCH!
    then again, it was the Giants

  5. Terri Fisher says:

    Hi JR,
    We are so proud and thank God for your many accomplishments. Just wanted to suggest that you write about the “real basketball” which is the WNBA! :)

  6. Ms. Yoka says:

    Baseball is actually one sport I really don’t know much about, but I do know I gotta go with the Rays on this one. First of, it’s a Florida team & since I’m reppin’ Florida these days I gotta stay loyal to my state. Secondly, I do know about the underdog story so if the Rays win, it would make their victory that much sweeter. Actually this kind of reminds me of this story I know about this great basketball player from Pittsburgh who went to a small school & then couldn’t find an agent who believed in him enough to sign him, but despite all of it kept believing in himself and kept putting in the work, so eventually he became the best PG in Europe on the best team in Europe, and even made it to the Olympics… :-). Now, that’s a great & inspirational book that I would want to read, or movie I would want to watch for that matter (just trying to give you some ideas on how you can spend some of your time after you hang up them sneakers, LOL). By the way, for anyone who hasn’t had a chance to stay up on J.R., this is a great time to mention that he is only 5 pts away from becoming only the 3rd player in Euroleague history to reach the 2,000 pt mark, which is obviously going to happen tomorrow in the game against Panionios. And he also only needs 13 more assists to get 500 in the Euroleague, so history continues to be made… and I’m so proud of you once again J! But back to baseball, after yesterday’s rain out, I guess we’ll know tonight if the Rays’ underdog story continues…

  7. Rukiya says:


    Congrats on the column. All the best and keep up all of the positive work!

  8. Gail Fisher says:

    Hello Cousin,
    Congrats on getting the column too. I know this column will soar now that you are involved. Keep up the good work we are so proud of you.

  9. Lynae says:

    glad you are writing…. looking forward to reading what you have to say about an array of sports. If possible it would be nice to even have a line or two on fallen stars a “where are they now” section.

    Keep us Informed!!!!!

  10. Warren says:

    Congrats on the column! Continue living the DREAM and being a champion in life! I would like to know more about the impact of our presidential politics on the “world of sports.”

    P.S. The Steelers looked horrible last Sunday. We have a chance to redeem ourselves this week.


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