While the Colorado College Women’s Basketball team may not always have an abundance of spectators at their games, their team has been kicking major butt: their intensity and determination is always present, even when the student body is not. After watching one of their practices, all I can see is that the lady Tigers move the ball with fantastic speed and are shockingly light on their feet. So I sat down with senior Nina Holley to discuss the end of their season and the end of her competitive basketball career.
Nina Holley is a psychology major and biochemistry minor from Arvada, Colo. Both of her siblings play basketball, so she grew up in the gym, surrounded by a love for the game. She fell in love with basketball immediately and started playing competitively when she was only in kindergarten.
Holley adores the competitiveness and physical aspect of the game. “The physical contact makes you feel powerful,” she said. “It’s fun.” Holley prides herself on her defensive skills, but she is no stranger to bodying up against players in competition for the ball. “I go in, get box outs, and rebounds,” Holley said. “I work really hard.”
Over the last two years, the entire team has worked especially hard to build the CC women’s basketball program. According to Holley, because the team got a new coach last year, these years are considered to be “rebuilding years.” “We’re working really hard to lead by example and pay attention to the little things so that the program gets built up,” Holley said.
In these rebuilding years, women’s basketball has made a name for themselves. What used to be a quiet team on the fringes of the athletic department is now a competitive force driven by fierce women. “Right now the program is on the come up,” Holley said. “One of the best compliments I’ve ever gotten was from a former player on the men’s basketball team; he said now we’re a solid team that other teams have to take seriously.” According to Holley, their competition has had to leave their starters in the whole game, and are totally challenged playing our Tigers.
The basketball season is quickly coming to a close and Holley is acutely aware that her years as a competitive basketball player are about to end. “One of my goals for this season has been to leave a legacy,” she said. “I am trying to work hard and have people remember me in that way.”
Last weekend, the women’s team went on the road and matched up against Centenary College of Louisiana. “The Centenary game was a little rough,” Holley admitted. “We were close at the beginning, but then we lost it.” The team fought hard to make a comeback, but fell short a few points.
“We worked really hard and fought to the end, which is all you can really ask for, especially after a long day of travel,” Holley said. According to Holley, one benefit the Tigers have is a definitive altitude advantage from playing at Colorado Springs’ elevation. “Playing at altitude definitely gives us an edge,” Holley said. “When we play here, it’s nice to be able to run on teams a little bit.”
Holley is dedicated to the team and loves spending time with her teammates, both on and off the court. “Even if you’re not playing in a game, it’s great to be there,” she said. “The team is a big family, and we all just want to see each other succeed.” She is looking forward to this Sunday, which is National Women in Sports Day when the team will face off against a rival; Trinity University.
Women’s basketball at Colorado College has not always drawn the most spectators. However, in recent years, the lady Tigers have held off some fierce competition and shown themselves to be worthy adversaries. “Come out and see us,” Holley said. “We don’t disappoint.”
Their next home game is tonight in Reid Arena at 7:30 p.m. against Schreiner University, followed by their home game against Trinity on Sunday at 2 p.m.