Star forward Mya Hollingshed returned to Colorado 'because we have unfinished business'
Colorado forward Mya Hollingshed has had a storied career in Boulder — you name it, she’s done it. 1,000 career points? Check. Multiple All-Pac-12 accolades? You betcha. Lead the charge in defeating the eventual national champs? Oh indeed.
Her career has been one of steady improvement. Hollingshed has increased her scoring, rebounding and assisting averages every season throughout her first four years with the Buffs, reaching the heights of 15.4 points and 7.8 rebounds in her senior season. Her 32-point, 10-rebound, 5-steal performance against Stanford, handing the 2021 national champs their first of two losses on the season, put her on the national map.
A 6-foot-3 skilled forward who can stretch the defense, there’s a lot for pro scouts to like in Hollingshed. She was getting WNBA Draft buzz, as one news outlet projected her as a second-round pick. And, with her communications degree in tow, a jump to the pros with one year of eligibility on the table wouldn’t have been a wild leap.
But Hollingshed is back for one more go-around in the college game, a campaign she hopes takes her to the one place she has yet to go – the NCAA tournament.
“It would mean a lot to get there,” Hollingshed at Pac-12 Women’s Basketball Media Day. “The main thing that really led me to my decision was not only getting my Master’s but also finishing what we could have started from last year because we fell short of getting to the NCAA. That really hurt us a lot and drove us to this upcoming season.”
“I think that was the main thing that led me to coming back because we have unfinished business.”
The Buffs nearly got there in 2021. They took care of some unfinished business with the win over the Cardinal, having lost a heartbreaker to Stanford the year before on Kiana Williams’ 35-foot buzzer-beater. Colorado entered the Pac-12 Women’s Basketball Tournament at 10-9 and winners of four straight. A win over 11th-seeded Washington in the opening round, Hollingshed thought, and the Buffs would be dancing for the first time since 2013. Instead, the Huskies won and Colorado was headed to the WNIT.
“The WNIT is always a great opportunity to have postseason experience but it wasn’t the experience we were looking for necessarily because we knew we needed one more game,” said Hollingshed, who is working on her Master’s degree in organizational leadership. “Falling short of that, nobody wants to experience that again.”
With a veteran squad that returns its top six scorers from last year and adds in Washington transfers Quay Miller and Tameiya Sadler, two of the Huskies’ top three scorers in 2020-21, Colorado is set up for what could be its most successful season since Chucky Jeffery was in Boulder. Regardless of whether or not Hollingshed’s fifth and final season yields that ever-elusive trip to the NCAA Tournament, her legacy has been cemented in the program and on campus as a great player and positive influence.
“The first day of practice this year, I went over to Mya, we were getting started and I said ‘I don’t know what I’m going to do without you!’” Colorado head coach JR Payne said. “Mya is a ray of sunshine to everyone who has ever seen her play…she’s just an incredible human being. Her growth has also been equally incredible. On the court, in the classroom, as a teammate.”
“She’s going to play pro and go on to do great things on the court. She also will go on and do great things in life and I’m very proud of her for all the things that she’s done.”