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Former Eagle signs pro deal in Australian Football League

MOREHEAD, Ky. (WYMT) -- Jason Holmes, who was a senior in the Morehead State basketball program during the 2012-13 season, has signed a two-year international rookie contract with the ST KILDA Football Club of the Australian Football League.

"Congratulations to Jason on this terrific accomplishment," Head Coach Sean Woods said. "Jason is an intelligent young man who works extremely hard. He overcame a lot during his college career, and I'm glad he has this opportunity in the AFL."

Holmes was identified as a potential AFL project player at the U.S. combine in Los Angeles last April. He was one of three Americans who spent three weeks with the Sydney Swans Academy. Two of those three individuals landed spots on the team.

"I've just been trying to absorb as much as I can," Holmes said in an interview with Saints.com.au. "It was polarizing to me, watching just how important it is in this country and how many fans come watch it. It's a huge sport and it looked really exciting."

Holmes averaged 2.7 points and 1.8 rebounds in his only year at Morehead State. He drilled 45 percent from the floor and 64 percent from the free-throw line in 32 games for the Eagles. He tallied career highs of 12 points and eight rebounds.

Holmes helped Cochise to an Arizona Community College Athletic Conference championship as a freshman (2008-09). He then spent three seasons with Woods at Southwestern Athletic Conference member Mississippi Valley State (2009-12).

A native of Elk Grove, Ill., Holmes averaged 6.9 points and 6.1 rebounds as a sophomore and 5.7 points and 3.0 rebounds as a junior. He redshirted due to injury in 2011-12 when the Delta Devils won the SWAC title and played in the NCAA Tournament.

His older brother, Andre, plays for the National Football League's Oakland Raiders.

The Australian Football League is the highest professional level of Australian rules football. It was founded as the Victorian Football League, with its inaugural season commencing in 1897, but changed its name prior to the 1990 season.

The Australian Football League currently has 18 teams spread over five states. The clubs will play a preseason followed by 23 regular-season contests. The campaign runs from March to September, which are the winter months in Australia.

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