Spartan Spotlight - Holly Strom

LANGLEY, British Columbia - Trinity Western’s Holly Strom has established herself as one of Canada West’s most dangerous players.

The 5-foot-11, Calgary-born product has had a breakthrough season this year, as she’s been amongst the league leaders in a variety of statistical categories all year and, most notably, with a combined 52 points last weekend over two games, currently leads all Canada West scorers with an impressive 18.9 points per game.  

But, for Strom, the road to this point in her university career certainly hasn’t been without its challenges. First, she battled decisions of which university to attend, and later even entertained the idea of dropping basketball altogether.

Now, in her fourth year of athletic eligibility and far removed from nearly quitting the sport following her first year at TWU, Strom has grown into one of the most dominant players in the conference.

But even this year, finding herself on the court was, again, a process.

 “At the start of the season it was a goal of mine to glorify God on the court with my actions,” Strom said. “I really wanted to play with joy, but it wasn’t happening right away.”

Over the past three years, Strom has logged big minutes for the Spartans and has always been a key contributor. But this year, she has been determined to play with a new attitude.

“I think as I have been working on playing with that joy more and more, it has helped me to completely relax, and not be uptight,” Strom said. “I feel like that mentality and attitude, and my motive of playing for God and my team has changed my demeanor on the court, which has freed me to just play the game.

“I try to read a couple of bible passages before heading to the gym. I also ask God for help in this area, because I know I can’t do it on my own.”

Despite the statistical excellence Strom has earned on the court, especially of late as she’s averaged 21.2 points and 10.9 rebounds per game while earning five double-doubles in her last six games, when asked about how she has elevated her game, the answer is never about herself.

“It’s God that helps me and gives me strength,” Strom said. “I am just happy that something big has been happening this year, but I cannot credit it to myself and what I have done.”

That something big has been most evident in Strom’s stat line.

Beyond leading Canada West in scoring, she is also amongst the conference leaders in rebounds, with 7.9 per game (7th in Canada West), blocks, with 1.3 per game (4th), steals, with 2.5 per game (7th),  and minutes played, with 31.7 per game (6th).

“I am not usually big into stats,” Strom said. “I don’t want to be consumed with that, but it does naturally surround me whether it is my parents, teammates, or coaches telling me.”

On a team where winning has not come easy this season, individual stats could have easily become Strom’s main concern. But that is not who she is. Her motivation has never lied within the numbers.

“At this point I am simply playing for my team and God,” Strom said. “It stings knowing we won’t make playoffs again this year, but fortunately life is about far more than medals and banners, and I have come to learn that first hand.”

It has not been an easy lesson for Strom. Over her four years at Trinity Western University, the Spartans have yet to reach the playoffs but, for Strom, she has accepted this reality as a process by which important lessons can be learned.

“It is hard to shove down your pride and take your focus off of what other people think of you and your team,” Strom said. “But I have learned a lot from this. The most notable being that I need to enjoy the moments God has blessed me with, regardless if the world says they should be negative experiences. I have been blessed with an amazing group of girls and been able to play a high level of basketball.”

There’s no doubt Strom would like to finish atop the leader board in points scored but, as the season comes to a close, her focus will more so be on enjoying the last few moments of the year, while using her gifts to shine Christ’s glory.
-TW-

Last Updated: 2013-02-08
Author: Mark Janzen

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