If you haven’t yet heard of the name Holly Winterburn then you need to. The gifted 15-year old has the potential to be one of the best players this country has ever seen and the future of female British Basketball.
Standing 5ft 11″, the athletic guard can do it all on both ends of the floor where you would think she must have started at a young age and now attends a basketball academy. Well, you would be wrong!
Holly only began playing just three years ago under the guidance of coaches John Collins, Karen Goodrich and Stacey Shakespeare at Northants Basketball Club. They saw something in her that they hadn’t before at their club and decided like many don’t, to push Holly onto higher heights where she now plays at Leicester Riders in the top women’s league (WBBL) under the watchful eye of highly rated Coach Matthew Harber.
I had the pleasure of coaching her this summer with the England U16 National Team where I really got to find out a lot more about her as a player and person. For the tournament she averaged 13.4 PPG, 5.8 RPG & 3.6 SPG where after the first three games she was the overall leader in scoring and efficiency showing she has the ability to play on the international stage and dominate.
Stats aside. Holly has a very high IQ for the game at such a young age showing maturity on the court seeing many reads most players her age don’t. Add to this she really understands scouting reports, video analysis and on the fly drawn up plays producing a unique individual with a very bright future.
Holly, like all players, still has a lot to work on which she knows more than anyone else. She is grounded yet very hard on herself showing she really wants to learn and get better. A trait all coaches dream of. She has the right environment and people around her to succeed where she just needs to continue to push herself every single day and to never be satisfied.
You now and again come across players that are just that little bit different, that have an edge – a feel for the game and a way to just get it done. This is rare at 15-years old, and even more rare for someone who is very new to the game but Holly has it. I can’t necessarily describe or pin point exactly what it is but she has that extra something that many players want to possess but simply just don’t have it.
I truly believe Holly can do many special things with the sport of basketball if she continues to allow to take on board that she isn’t perfect. She is constantly striving for perfection which is great, but failure is also apart of being a champion – to come back better and overcome adversity. I have no doubt Holly can overcome this. Add to this that her favourite player is Great Britain legend Jo Leedham – she is paving her journey on no one better!
Holly has the talent, drive, dertermination and passion to succeed where I only expect to be hearing her name more and more as she continues to evolve as The Future of British Basketball.