Bound for Boston College, local talent Lana Hollingsworth is returning to play with the Blues in the 2018 SEABL season.
2018 is set to be a massive year for the rising star, having already taken part in the Australian Development Camp in Canberra back in January, and now expected to take on a larger role in her second SEABL season before she heads to college.
“I’m so looking forward to the SEABL season and then heading to Boston,” said Hollingsworth.
“I’ve been working hard on my game as I want to play more minutes, play against quality senior opposition. I want to be a contributor, and try and take a leadership role if I can.”
While Hollingsworth was focused on success with the Blues this season, she could not hide her excitement about her impending adventure to Boston College.
“This season is going to be an ideal preparation for when I get to Boston,” added Hollingsworth. “I actually just received my acceptance letter on Friday!
“But I don’t want to sit on the bench [when I get there]. I am one of 6 incoming freshmen, the SEABL will be a stepping stone for me and I am so excited about the opportunities ahead.”
While this year promises big things for Lana, 2017 was pretty special.
Hollingsworth was an integral member of the Victorian Metro 2017 U18 Australian Junior Championships, averaging over 7 points and 3 rebounds per game. However, her greatest honour came when she was selected to represent Australia at the U18 FIBA 3×3 World Championships in Chengdu, China, with her side finishing in 11 place in Australia’s debut at this level.
“Representing my country was such an honour and was so exciting,” explained Hollingsworth. “Then when I came back I went to the US to play AAU, and that resulted in my commitment to Boston.”
While the 5’8 guard’s star continued to rise on the court, she was also busy completing her senior year at high school (VCE). She proved she could juggle being an elite athlete while excelling in the classroom, registering a near-perfect TER of 99.6.
“Yeah that is a pretty good score,” Hollingsworth admitted. “It was hard work but well worth it. I am now thinking of doing pre-med at college.”
With her high school education complete and no schoolwork until she arrives in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, basketball is her only focus, and she plans on ensuring she gets to play as much as she can. Last season in the SEABL, Hollingsworth was able to contribute 4.3 points and 1.4 rebounds across 10 games, and will be looking to increase her minutes and those numbers during 2018.
“You can’t get better if you are not touching the ball, if you are not playing,” she outlined. “That’s why I went to Frankston in the first place, because I was going to get a chance to play.”
Hollingsworth explained there was change sweeping throughout the Blues program, with head coach Simon Mitchell instilling a team-first culture underpinned by good old-fashioned hard work.
“We know we probably don’t have the best talent, the best players in the league,” said Hollingsworth. “But together, as a group, we can compete.
“Simon is pushing us to be competitors as we try to make a new name for Frankston. We want to be relentless, play in-your-face defence and work hard for each other. You know – do all the little things, the ‘one-percenter’s’. We really want to make sure that teams will hate playing against us.
“We are going to be a team that plays for one another. Hopefully that will all come together, and help us push to try and make a playoff spot.”