Holmes, his brother and his older sister grew up in Marianna, an hour west of Tallahassee.
“My brother, my sister and I are close. There are only a couple years between all of us. They would give me the shirt off their backs if I needed it. I would do the same for them,” said Holmes.
Holmes’ family owns a farm in Marianna. On their farm, they grow fresh vegetables to be sold to local school districts in nearby states. While helping his father with the family business when he was younger, Holmes discovered his love for farming.
He recalls his brother, his sister and himself waking up early in the morning to help his father fill orders for the different school districts. For Holmes, his favorite part of the job was bagging the vegetables.
“Hakeem is a really fast bagger. We always kept a steady pace when he was helping us fill an order. My sister and I would get excited whenever he would help us,” said Glyen Holmes, Holmes’ brother.
When Holmes is not farming, he enjoys playing basketball. When he was in elementary school, he played city league basketball for the team his father coached, the Magic. In high school, he played shooting guard for his father’s Amateur Athletic Union team, Green Way. With his speed and athleticism, his friends and AAU teammates compared his game to Miami Heat shooting guard, Dwayne Wade.
“Hakeem is really fast with the basketball in his hand. I played on the AAU team with him. Whenever you were open, the pass would always find you. He always put his teammates in good positions with the basketball,” said Eddie Rory, a friend of Holmes.
After he graduated from Marianna High School, He attended Florida A&M. While he didn’t play basketball at FAMU, he graduated in 2017 with a degree in agro business. After graduating, he started working as an economist at the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
Holmes is seeking a return to FAMU this fall to pursue a master’s degree in agro business.