April 21, 2009
Rachel Hollivay’s spring recently got a little busier.
The New Hope High School freshman was invited last week on behalf of USA Basketball and the Women’s Developmental National Team Committee to participate in the 2009 Under-16 National Team Trials.
The 36-player training camp will be May 28-31 in Colorado Springs, Colo., at the U.S. Olympic Training Center.
“I was real excited (when my father called with the news),” Hollivay said. “I am shocked (that she is one of the 36 players selected). There are a lot of players I think are better than me, but I really don’t know. I still have to make the team, but going down there is a real blessing.”
If Hollivay is one of the selected for the team, she will remain in Colorado to train and then will travel June 10-14 to Buenos Aires, Argentina, to play in the 2009 FIBA Americas U-16 Championship.
The event is the entry level competition foe elite basketball players in the U.S. It will serve as the qualifying tournament for the 2010 U-17 FIBA Championship.
Ray Hollivay, Rachel’s father, received the letter dated April 14 on Thursday after Rachel had left to play with her Florida Essence (Tallahassee, Fla.) Amateur Athletic Union girls basketball team at the Nike Boo Williams event in Virginia.
This weekend, Hollivay, a 6-foot-4 center, will travel to Georgia to take part in the Nike Girls Regional Skills Academy event at Norcross High School in Atlanta.
The regional invitation-only event is one of five that features 40 of the top players in the country.
Hollivay, who has never traveled out of the country, said all of the recognition she has earned the past few months is helping her stay motivated and keep her working hard to improve her game.
“I am so young and everybody else is juniors and seniors,” Hollivay said. “Most of the people don’t get to do this, but I am excited I get to do this at such a young age.”
Hollivay said she the Boo Williams tournament was tough and that she played against a lot of players who were big and talented. Florida Essence lost to the Philadelphia Belles after going unbeaten in pool play.
Ray Hollivay, who alternates with his wife traveling with Rachel to tournaments and events, isn’t sure how the family will handle Rachel going to Colorado and leaving the country if she makes the team. He said his daughter has been blessed to have so many opportunities to enhance her skills.
“It is an unbelievable experience,” Ray Hollivay said. “This is a credit to her hard work. She dedicates herself to being good and the best and that hard work is paying off for her. We are very proud of her, and we’re looking forward to experiencing all of the stuff with her.”
Adam Minichino is the Sports Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.