St. Bonaventure guard changes name to honor his mother


Jaren Holmes (right) standing with his mother Gia (left) after signing with St. Bonaventure

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – There’s no denying the love that St. Bonaventure guard Jaren Holmes has for his mother.

“Our relationship and our bond is never-ending,” he said.

Life wasn’t always easy for the Holmes family. Born with the name Jaren English, the Bonaventure guard and his brother William watched their mother sacrifice as a single parent to provide for her two sons.

“She raised two kids by herself, left to fend for herself on a teacher’s salary while trying to maintain two boys who are athletic,” he said. “She’s a true testament of a single mom who put her kids first and truly a good parent.”

She was a full-time teacher and still found a way to make it to her sons’ baseball and basketball games. Jaren learned a lot of lessons from seeing his mother, grandfather and grandmother work hard to give him and his brother all they could.

“I take those lessons from her and I try to find a way,” Holmes said. “

After everything his mother and grandparents did to raise them, Jaren English and his brother William made a decision years ago to officially change their last name to Holmes to honor their mother.

“My mom never asked us to do this,” Holmes said. “Grandparents never asked us to do this. My brother and I did this on our own because we wanted to…. the Holmes family, my mom’s family is the only family I’ve ever known and they are the only ones that truly have been there for me in my times of need, have taught me life lessons that I will take forever, who have taught me how to be a man, and continuing to teach me how to be a man.”

They wanted to wait until the right time, and on September 30th of last year… Jaren English officially became Jaren Holmes.

“I wish people could see the joy on my mother’s face,” he said. “I’ve never seen her be that happy in my life. As soon as the judge hit the gavel and said your name’s changed to Holmes, my mom just kind of broke down in tears…It was an experience I’ll never forget. I think everybody in that room cried.”

And in his first season with the name Holmes on his jersey, Jaren’s putting up career numbers in points per game while helping the Bonnies clinch a regular season conference title.

“Everything I do this year has been that much more amplified because of the name that’s on the back of my jersey.”

He’s still proud of the previous last name, but now he’s ready to build an even bigger legacy with his new one.

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