LANGLEY, British Columbia - This season was never really supposed to happen for Holly Strom.
This season, where the second-year forward from Calgary finished second on the team in points per game with 7.1, simply wasn’t going to be played.
But God nudged her. And for that matter, nudged her to Trinity Western in the first place.
When Strom was attending Centennial High School in Calgary, Alta. Trinity Western was barely even on her radar.
For four years, all she thought of was going to John Brown University in Siloam Springs, AR to play for the Golden Eagles at her parent’s alma mater. That’s what she wanted and that’s what she was going to do.
But in her Grade 12 year, she felt a little push.
“[At first] I didn’t really care about Trinity as much,” Strom said. “It was a God thing. I remember talking to my mom and I was almost crying because I was like ‘I bet you God is going to make me go to Trinity’ and I just wanted to go far away and experience stuff on my own. But God put it in my heart and I came to visit here and I ended up loving it.”
So when Strom came to TWU, God’s plan was clear? Everything would be hunky-dory?
Soon after Strom’s arrival at the Langley-based campus, she seemed to lose her passion for basketball. It wasn’t what she thought it would be.
Sure she was getting a sizable chunk of playing time for a rookie, but that wasn’t the issue.
“It was a struggle,” said Strom, who finished the year averaging 3.8 points per game in 12.5 minute per game. “The first semester was a little foggy. Individually, I did a lot better than I thought I would. I was ready to just sit on the bench and have no playing time. But I ended up getting playing time and that was really awesome but my heart wasn’t completely in it.
“And near the end [of the season] I was getting the point where I almost started to hate the sport and that really bothered me.”
And shortly after her rookie season ended, Strom quit.
She told her coach, Kirby Court, that she was done, told her teammates the same thing and then confirmed to new coach Cheryl Jean-Paul she wouldn’t be playing.
It just seemed that maybe Trinity Western basketball wasn’t for her.
But then, after a few months completely away from basketball, “God just kept nudging [her] towards basketball.”
“I don’t even know what happened. God was just like, ‘This is where you’re supposed to be’ and somehow that idea was planted back in my heart and I was so ready to come back.”
Strom worked her tail off all summer and, after getting “embarrassed” at the team’s identification camp in mid-summer because of her lack of fitness and preparedness, she came to fall camp in great shape and ready to perform.
“My heart was back in it and my love was back in it,” she said. “It’s like starting over a new sport with the fresh love of it. I just really have a passion to work hard now and I’ve never had that.”
And her on-court performance has proven that. She averaged 3.8 rebounds per game. 1.4 assists per game and 0.8 steals per game while nearly doubling her playing time from last year (24.5 minutes per game compared to last year's 12.5 minutes per game).
OK, so maybe Strom was always going to play and, especially this season, play well. It's just she herself just wasn't always so sure. Fortunately for her and her teammates, God did.
Last Updated: 2011-05-20