SAN ANTONIO – Athletes often dream of leaving their sport after a career-defining performance.
Trinity senior forward Abby Holland has done that and then some.
The newly-crowned Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference Player of the Year is still in the midst of her best season, averaging a career-high 18.5 points on 53.1% shooting and 6.6 rebounds per game. It’s a lasting statement for a player that has made her mark as one of the best in Tigers program history.
“Luckily enough, this summer I was in San Antonio, so to prepare for my senior season, I was able to have access to the gym 24-7,” Holland said. “It kind of hit me that this is the last summer I’ll be able to get into the gym and put up shots, so I really treasured that and made sure I was aware of that every single day.”
“She’s literally the standard for what you hope to have at some point in your career coaching young athletes," said Trinity head coach Cameron Hill. "She’s an incredible basketball player, but beyond that, she’s brilliant in the classroom. She’s highly motivated to be successful, she’s a great teammate -- not a good teammate, a great teammate -- and she’s got her DNA all over this group. She deserves a lot of credit for why we’ve been so successful.”
Successful is an understatement. The Tigers rolled through the ’19-'20 regular season, notching a 17-1 record in conference play en route to the top seed in the SCAC Tournament. In fact, throughout Holland’s four years at the university, Trinity has only lost five regular season conference games. Over that span, she’s established herself as the team’s number one scoring option, writing her name in the record books as the program’s second all-time leading scorer.
“Everyone goes through their career hoping that they can be the one to take the last shot and be the captain, but very few people embrace and appreciate the responsibility that comes with that role," Hill said. “That’s one more thing that she’s executed brilliantly. She knows what she’s capable of, she knows what she’s supposed to do for this group, and most nights she does it.”
“I’ve always had a certain level of responsibility, but I’ve had great examples to follow," Holland said. “Every year when I was an underclassman, I looked up to my seniors and I had great examples to see what leadership really means, so I really try to embody that.”
Holland shined again in the Conference Championship game, scoring 29 of the team’s 67 points in a disappointing loss, but the Tigers are far from done. Trinity will host UT-Dallas in the opening round of the NCAA Division III National Tournament on Friday, March 6. It’s another chance for Holland to add to an already illustrious resume.
“We just want to take one game at a time and really cherish that opportunity,” Holland explained. “Playing together and staying focused on one common goal is super important, and that’s what we’re trying to do."
Tip off between the Tigers and Comets is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.