HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — The Lee High School fieldhouse is getting a new name! As of Monday, it will be named Condrege Holloway Athletic Complex.
Holloway was a three-sport athlete at Lee High School before moving on to the University of Tennessee, where he became the first African-American quarterback to play in the Southeastern Conference (SEC). He was also the first Black baseball player at Tennessee.
After college ball, he moved on to the Canadian Football League where he played for the Ottowa Rough Riders, Toronto Argonauts and the B.C. Lions. Holloway was also drafted 4th overall by the Montreal Expos in the 1971 MLB Draft but chose to go to college instead. He later was drafted by the Atlanta Braves in the 10th round of the 1975 MLB Draft.
Monday, he came home to Huntsville to have the complex named in his honor.
Holloway said while he did play professional football and professional baseball, basketball was his favorite sport in high school.
“I grew up in a sporting family, my father was a football coach at Councill Training School and I grew up Catholic playing sports and enjoying every minute of it.” He continued, “I was just destined to play sports.”
Holloway says his plan was never to be the first of anything, he says his plan was only to dominate.
“They ask me ‘Did you want to be the first Black quarterback in the SEC?'” he said. “No, I wanted to be the starting quarterback for Tennessee.”
Holloway says seeing the building named after him is interesting, but he says his interest in the pulse of Lee High School athletics has kept him coming back time and time again.
“Not many emotions because I never really left here,” Holloway said. “Every time I come home I come here, every time one of the coaches has me help recruit a little bit.”
Lee High School’s current football coach, Irvin McGuire, said that honoring Holloway’s history allowed his football team a chance to reinforce academics as much as athletics. One all-around athlete Brandon Jackson said, after seeing Holloway, he finally gets it.
“I know the position I’m in now, I’m looking up to him so one day I could be in his position and have people look up to me… He set a good path for me to follow with him doing well in school and on the field,” Jackson said. “You need all of that to be successful so following behind his footsteps that will be great.”