Holcomb-Faye brothers head to Hall of Fame together

Whit and Travis Holcomb-Faye

Holcomb-Faye brothers head to Hall of Fame together
February 16
12:05 2022

Travis and Whit Holcomb-Faye were standout basketball players for Reynolds High School when they not only dominated basketball in the Triad area, they were one of the best basketball programs in the state. For their efforts, the Holcomb-Faye brothers were elected into the Reynolds High School Hall of Fame last month.

The Holcomb-Faye brothers were among nine total inductees of the 2022 Hall of Fame class for Reynolds High School. It is believed this is the first time two siblings have gone into the Reynolds HOF in the same class. Surrounded by former teammates, friends, and family, the Holcomb-Faye brothers were appreciative of being honored.

Travis, the older of the two brothers, grew up playing baseball, football, and of course, basketball. Upon entering high school, his parents told him he needed to focus on one sport, and he chose basketball. 

Travis is from the north side of Winston-Salem, but he and a few friends decided to attend Reynolds for high school. Once there, he faced stiff competition, but quickly made a lasting mark on the program.

“I started out on the JV team as a freshman. It was a group of us that came in as freshmen from the north side and we all choice-transferred into Reynolds,” said Travis Holcomb-Faye. “A couple of my friends actually made the varsity team as freshmen, so we kind of got split up when we came over there.

“We grew up playing AAU together, playing YBA basketball together, playing middle school together. A few of us played on the JV team and we won the David Lash Tournament and had an exceptional season. We ended up playing AAU and won the national championship playing AAU.”

As a sophomore, Travis made the varsity team and came off the bench behind starting point guard John Skinner. “He was a great point guard and was actually our conference player of the year my sophomore year,” he said. 

During his time on the varsity team, the Demons compiled a 70-12 record over three seasons. They won the conference all three years, won the conference tournament twice, and won the Frank Spencer Tournament once. 

The Demons had deep playoff runs all three seasons as well. Unfortunately, they ran into slightly better teams that knocked them out of the playoffs before they could achieve their goal of a state championship.

“We just couldn’t get over the hump of playing these teams with bigger guys,” he said. “Coach (Howard) West did a good job of adjusting and playing small ball. We would press the entirety of the game and speed people up … but teams that were a lot bigger coming from Charlotte were a lot to handle because they were quick and fast too, and bigger than us. Deep in those playoff runs we just couldn’t top them.

“Once my brother and them got there, they had the guard play and Reynolds finally started getting some bigger players in and got some bigs to go along with those guards and that’s when we finally got over the top and were able to win some state championships.”

A lot of their drive and basketball IQ came from their father, Walter Faye Jr., said Travis. Their father was their AAU coach growing up and taught them the game.

“We weren’t the fastest players on the court, we weren’t the most athletic players on the court, but we would beat you with grit, heart, IQ, and skill,” he continued. 

It was a surprise for Travis when he heard about his induction into the HOF. To be included with such a prestigious group, Travis was humbled to be a part of it.

“That was very special that we got to spend that night together and both get inducted on the same day. That’s something that I will never forget,” Travis said about the induction night.

Some of Travis’ accomplishments include ‘96 all region team, ‘97 all-conference CPC, ‘97 all Northwest, ‘98 CPC Player of the Year, ‘98 all-state, ‘98 East/West All-Star team member, and ‘98 RJR Male Athlete of the Year. He also enjoyed a stellar four-year career at East Carolina University after graduation from Reynolds.

Travis was a senior when Whit came in as a freshman. Whit played on the 9th grade team because they were so deep with guards at the time at Reynolds.

“We had so much talent over there, my brother actually played on the 9th grade team when I was a senior,” Travis stated. “The following year, he played on the JV team. He only played on the varsity team for two years and the two years he was on the varsity team, they won the state title.”

Whit played for Reynolds from 1998 through 2002. According to Whit, he says Travis’ teams laid the foundation for how his teams played.

“I played 9th grade my freshman year and I played JV my sophomore year because we also had another class of AAU players that were older than me that also came; Mike Russell and his crew,” said Whit. 

“So, we really had like three crews come through there, my brother’s crew, Mike Russell’s crew, and my crew. Mike Russell was a year older than me and two years younger than my brother. So, we had a good crew of point guards coming in for the next seven/eight years with me, Mike and my brother.”

Playing behind guys like his brother and Russell, Whit absorbed everything he could to become a better player and prepare himself for when it was his turn. 

“Having an older brother that was kind of a star of the team, I kind of expected to do whatever he did,” said Whit about his expectations on the varsity team. “I was Mike Russell’s backup my first year on varsity, but then I ended up finding a role. I came off the bench, but I was always in at the end of the games.

“I kind of found my role pretty early in the season. That team was probably the best team that Reynolds had. We were just deep and bigger than everybody. We beat everybody in the city pretty bad and we kind of had to play national games to really get a good game. I think we were 28-2 that year.”

Reynolds won three consecutive state championships from 2000-02. As a senior, Whit says they fully expected to win the state championship once again.

“My senior year, we had already won two and I knew we weren’t as good as we were those other two years because we lost a lot of people, but I brought somebody in from my AAU team and I always expected to win regardless,” said Whit.

Whit was also a multi-sport athlete. He played basketball and football. He says he didn’t want to play baseball because the sport was kind of boring to him. 

Whit also credits his father for making him the player he developed into.

“The main thing he did was put us ahead of everybody we played against,” said Whit about his father. “I think at an early age we were just smarter than everybody and we could outthink them. We weren’t the best athletes as far as jumping high and being physically gifted, but I think our IQ, kind of like Chris Paul, put us ahead of everybody.”

Whit has some fond memories of his time at Reynolds. “I really looked forward to those big-time games when we went to New Jersey, we went to Florida; we went to a lot of places to play these ranked teams,” said Whit. 

“Getting outside the city and playing some of those ranked teams was probably some of my best memories and of course, playing in the Frank Spencer, because that’s our big tournament and we always look forward to that.”

Conversations about Whit and his brother going into the hall of fame had been going on for years, Whit said. 

“I kind of thought that it might be coming, but it hadn’t happened yet and then when I found out we were going in together, that was kind of cool for us,” he said. “That brought back a lot of memories that night.”

Whit’s accomplishments include ‘99 Lash Tournament winner, ‘01 Western Regional All-Tournament Team, ‘02 All-Northwest NC Team, ‘02 East/West All-Star player, ‘02 McDonald’s All-American nominee, ‘02 Most Outstanding Player 4A State Championship. Whit was also a four-year starter at Radford University and is also a member of their hall of fame. Whit enjoyed a 10-year professional career playing overseas in Germany, Austria and Holland.

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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