By BETO HOYOS
Basketball runs in the family of Pima Community College sophomore Holly Bolen. Her grandfather, Rudy Castro, played college basketball and baseball at the University of Arizona.
Bolen was introduced to basketball as a child.
“I started playing ball when I was 8 in the National Youth Sports league, and since then I’ve been in love with the game,” she said.
Bolen also participated in volleyball at Tucson Magnet High School but her talents blossomed in basketball.
After graduation, Bolen took her skills to Thatcher, Ariz., and played basketball at Eastern Arizona College. She spent a year as a Gila Monster before becoming a PCC Aztec in 2012.
“Holly is one of the best shooters I’ve ever had,” head coach Todd Holthaus said.
Bolen’s versatility makes her a go-to weapon the Aztecs like to utilize. The 6-foot-1-inch forward holds her own on both offense and defense.
“I’m a mutt,” Bolen said. “I play down low when needed but can also be a guard. I play any position that’ll benefit the team.”
Holthaus admires Bolen’s laid-back demeanor and quick wit.
“She’s very loose and is just a great teammate with a great personality,” he said.
Bolen’s only flaw is that she can be a little too mellow on the court.
“That’s something we’re working on,” Holthaus said. “Once you’re on the court, it’s OK to be a little nasty and more intense. It’s hard for someone who’s laid back to turn on the switch, but she gets better at it every game.”
Bolen originally hoped to major in athletic training, but class times didn’t mesh with her basketball schedule.
“I wanted to help young athletes, but the time for that and basketball didn’t match up,” she said.
Bolen is still deciding on a new major, and has considered becoming a paramedic, firefighter or nurse.
Whichever field she chooses, it will involve working with people.
“I love helping others, old, young, it really doesn’t matter,” she said.