Walk into the gym to see the Colorado women’s basketball team practicing, and it won’t take long to notice Mya Hollingshed.
At 6-feet, 4-inches tall, Hollingshed is one of the tallest players on the team, but also one of the most athletic.
“You can just see she’s got potential oozing out of her pores,” Buffaloes head coach JR Payne said.
Throughout her first two years at CU, Hollingshed flashed that potential quite a bit. Coming into her junior year, however, the talented Houston product is aiming to turn her potential into more consistent results.
“It’s just about getting in the gym, doing it day in and day out,” she said after a recent kids camp at the CU Events Center. “Having a routine. There’s really no secret to it. You just have to be consistent and do the same thing and do the same things that you say you’re going to do.”
So far, Hollingshed has improved year to year. She was a key reserve in 2017-18, posting 6.8 points and 3.9 rebounds per game off the bench, while knocking down 42.7 percent of her 3-pointers.
Last season, she was one of just two players (along with Quinessa Caylao-Do) to start all 30 games. She posted 10.8 points per game and led the Buffs with 6.6 boards per game. Her 3-point percentage dipped to 25.6, but all-in-all, she was a much better player than the year before.
“She’s grown unbelievably, leaps and bounds, since the moment she got to CU as a freshman to where she is now: academically, socially, basketball-wise,” Payne said. “She’s just really coming into her own, as far as who she is and what she’s capable of being.”
Unfortunately, Hollingshed wasn’t able to fully realize her potential last year because of nagging knee pain. That led to her having stretches of dominance sprinkled with games where her contribution was minimal.
“I didn’t let that stop me, but there have been a few times when I was just not there,” she said. “Sophomore year was definitely up and down for me because of the injuries as a team we faced and the personal injury to myself.”
This offseason, however, Hollingshed believes she’s finally fixing the pain that has bothered her for a while.
“I’ve been doing a lot of rehab this offseason and getting back to it and getting my body right,” she said.
When Hollingshed’s body is right, she’s an impressive player. She averaged 20.5 points and 9.5 rebounds in two games against Southern California, recorded a double-double (17 points, 10 rebounds) against Oregon and, until the stretch run of the season, was a consistent threat on offense.
Those games really showed me that I can play in this league,” she said. “It shows me I can play the game I know how to play and just work on the things I work on every day in practice.”
Through it all, Hollingshed has played various roles. A post player in high school, she’s worked more on the wing at CU. But, the Buffs haven’t had a strong post presence, so she’s had to move inside quite a bit, as well.
With sophomores Peanut Tuitele and Kai Volcy and freshman Charlotte Whittaker, the Buffs believe they’ll be strong in the paint this year, which should allow Hollingshed the freedom to develop her game on the wing.
“Being on the wing was very different for me,” she said. “That’s outside my comfort zone, but I’m actually liking it. I’m doing a lot of ball handling and mid-range game, so I think it’s really going to improve my game a lot, being able to play inside and outside.”
Combining her natural skills with her experience on the wing and the post, Hollingshed could be one of the most versatile players on the court for the Buffs next season.
She is aiming for consistency as a junior and to do that, she’s trying to improve every aspect of her game.
“You have to work on everything,” she said. “You have to work on all your weakness, and even your strengths, to make them better. That way you’re unstoppable.”