Holley shoots for future ahead


Martin Garcia

Freshman Janna Holley dribbles the ball during a game against Mira Costa High School on Nov. 28.

Tylin Jarrett

Since the age of 3, freshman Janna Holley has played the game of basketball with a colossal love and passion.

The 5’3” point guard is currently starting for Birmingham Community Charter High School’s varsity girls basketball team.

This season, the Lady Patriots attained a record of 15-12, going 4-3 in league play. They had a shortened league schedule due to the teacher strike this season. During their season, Holley averaged 7.4 points, 3.8 assists, 3.0 rebounds and 2.3 steals per game.

Being a big fan of basketball growing up, Holley was influenced by athletes such as NBA legends Allen Iverson, Tracy McGrady and Vince Carter.

This is also Holley’s first time playing on an all-girls basketball team, whereas before this season, she played with either just boys or co-ed teams.

“This past season, I’ve learned how to compete against taller and bigger players,” Holley said. “I’ve also learned from some seniors (that were on the team), as well.”

With such skill that puts someone on a varsity sports team as a freshman, it’s almost a given that the player will go on to play collegiately.

“Yeah, I for sure want to play in college,” Holley said.  “I’m not sure where though since I’m just a freshman.”

Holley has not only earned the respect and trust as a basketball player from her teammates but from her coaching staff as well. Head coach Victor Koopongsakorn was quite impressed with the player Holley has become.

“Janna has had an outstanding freshman year,” Koopongsakorn said. “She is our best ball defender. She also has the responsibility as the point guard to bring up the ball and run our offense.”

He has been coaching for a while at Birmingham, so being blown away by a freshman is not very likely to happen. Holley, however, is that freshman that blew him away with her talent and hard work all season long.

“It is a lot of work for a freshman, but she hasn’t backed down from the challenge and is excelling on both sides of the ball,” Koopongsakorn said.