Holliday Rising To The Occasion

By Laura Witherspoon

An athlete's off-season is a crucial time to recuperate, improve, and prepare for the upcoming season. Oregon senior guard/forward Jasmin Holliday is giving everything she's got for her last season with the Ducks. Holliday certainly went the extra mile during the summer to have a breakout senior year.

The Chino Hills, Calif., native typically returns home for two months during the off-season before returning to Oregon for one session of summer school and team workouts. This year was a different story, as Holliday decided to stay in Oregon for two months, putting in extra time on the court and in the classroom.

"When I would go home for the summer I wouldn't have as much access to open gyms to play with my teammates," she said. "It's more like putting up extra shots and playing with whoever I could find at the local fitness club."

With her senior year approaching, Holliday felt it was necessary to spend more time up in Oregon working through two terms of summer school and practicing during her free time. "I would go and put up extra shots whenever I could because I really wanted to focus on improving my shot," she said.

Holliday also utilized her fellow teammates to motivate her to keep up the hard work.

"Nia Jackson and I definitely encouraged each other because she was coming off of a knee injury so we were both trying to make each other better," Holliday said.

When Holliday and Jackson were not focusing on homework, they would pay a visit to Matthew Knight Arena to shoot, do running drills, and just simply condition to get ready for the 2011-2012 season. Holliday's particular goal coming into her last season was to go out with a bang.

"We owed it to ourselves and to our teammates to push ourselves because our previous season was not successful," Holliday said. "We wanted to make sure we did not have a repeat of that."

Thus far this season, Holliday is averaging 15.3 points and 8 rebounds per game.

With three seniors on this year's squad - Holliday, Jackson and Amanda Johnson - there is an obligation on their shoulders to lead the team to a better record.

"[Each of the seniors] bring different leadership aspects to the table and work really well together," Holliday said. "I'm the more laid back, crack-a-joke type. I don't like to be strict all the time. I like to make my teammates laugh whenever they're feeling down."

Looking ahead, Holliday said she is looking forward to playing Oregon State and Stanford.

"Oregon State is always a good game because of our rivalry, and Stanford has always been a great competitor so I want to be ready for them," she said.

She said that each game is a reminder that this is Holliday's senior year and not to take any day for granted.

"It's hard for me to even imagine not being here after four years of being a collegiate athlete, it's all I know," Holliday said. "My teammates are my best friends and we have so much fun together."

After college Holliday hopes to pursue a career in sports broadcasting. When Holliday is not busy with basketball she avidly tweets on Twitter, shops, and loves to spend time with her friends.

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