James Holland is the ninth person affiliated with the men's basketball program to be inducted into the USC Upstate Athletics Hall of Fame.
Holland enjoyed a tremendous four-year career at the University from 1978-82, leading the then-Rifles to the NAIA National Championship in 1982 during his senior season. He finished his career having set four assist records. He still owns the all-time assist record of 553 in 124 games, 92 assists better than second place on the all-time list. His 4.46 career assist per game average ranks fourth on the all-time list, though he held the all-time record upon completion of his career. He dished out 182 assists in 32 games during the magical national championship run in 1981-82, a figure that stood as the single-season assist record until 1991. He currently ranks second on the single-season assist list. In 1981-82, his 5.69 assists per game average was the best all-time but has since been surpassed and currently ranks sixth all-time.
Holland finished his career with 538 points, 553 assists, and 270 rebounds. He averaged 4.3 points, 2.2 rebounds, and 4.5 assists per game for his career, playing alongside Hall of Fame members Michael Gibson and Wendell Gibson, and for Hall of Fame coach Jerry Waters.
Upon leaving college, he played for one season with the world-famous Harlem Globetrotters basketball team from 1982-83. He returned to the University to begin his coaching career as an assistant coach while completing the requirements for his bachelor's degree. He served as assistant coach from 1983-87 and received his bachelor's of science degree in 1985. He left the University after the 1986-87 season to take his first Division I assistant coaching job at the University of North Carolina Asheville and served on the staff there in 1987-88. He left that position in 1988 to take a position on the staff at Murray State and spent three seasons with the Racers. He helped the team earn two NCAA Tournament and one NIT bid during his stint at the school.
Holland returned to South Carolina to take a position on the staff at the University of South Carolina from 1991-93. From there he was an assistant coach at San Diego State from 1993-99. He moved back to the Southeastern Conference as an assistant coach at the University of Georgia from 1999-2003 and helped lead the Bulldogs to NCAA Tournament berths in 2001 and 2002 and the SEC Eastern Division title in 2002. He spent one season as a Southeast regional scout for the Washington Wizards before taking his current position as an assistant coach at the University of Texas-El Paso where he helped lead the team to a 27-win season, a Western Athletic Conference Tournament championship, and an appearance in the NCAA Tournament in 2004-05.
Holland and his wife, Rhonda, have two sons, A.J. and Kevin.