By Rodney Grimes
A Phoenix basketball legend has passed. Allen “Stretch” Holmes was a basketball phenom at Phoenix Union High School in1955 through 1957. Holmes was a star player on the Phoenix Union team that won the state championship in 1957. That year they were undefeated 23-0. During the championship game in his junior year, he scored 42 points in a 20 minute period. The Phoenix Union had a 56 game winning streak that spanned two seasons, due in large part to Allen “Stretch” Holmes talent on the court.
Allen went on to earn a scholarship to attend Weber State Junior College in Utah. In 1958 he led them in scoring and was picked All Conference and selected JUCO first team All-American. In 1959, he led the team to a National Junior College Championship and was voted the tournament M.V.P.
Shortly afterward he would earn an athletic scholarship to attend the University of Utah in 1960 – making the All-Region Team. In 1963, he played in the East-West All-American game.
After earning his degree in journalism from the University of Utah, Holmes spent the majority of his career as an ethnic minority resource specialist with the Utah Department of Corrections until his retirement. He worked with inmates, encouraging them to become involved with educational programs while within the Department of Corrections system. Allen acknowledged the difficulties each inmate faced and assisted them in becoming better people. He was very dedicated to his work.
A short list of his awards and recognition include; Weber State and JUCO Hall of Fame in 1990; Utah Hall of Fame in 1998; NAACP Dr. Martin Luther King “Living Legend ” award in 1998, and the Phoenix Union High School Inaugural Sports Hall of Fame in 2015.
Allen was preceded in death by his wife, Tony Kaye Holmes, two brothers William Henry Holmes and Leroy Holmes and foster mother Annabelle Weakly. He leaves to cherish his memory three children; Byron Scott of Redondo Beach, Calif.; Jennifer Holmes and Craig Holmes of Salt Lake City; one sister, Marilyn Holmes Tang of Phoenix; five grandchildren, four great-grandchildren and a number of nieces, nephews cousins, and dear friends.
Allen “Stretch” Holmes and passed away on March 30, and the funeral was held in Salt Lake City. His sister Marilyn Holmes Tang brought us the information of his passing.