Stealing the Summit: Hollins Leads Mavericks with Tenacious Defense, Passion

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Photo Courtesy of UNO Athletics
Photo Courtesy of UNO Athletics

Gabriel Christensen
CONTRIBUTOR

Teamwork and passion are among the building blocks to success—According to University of Nebraska at Omaha Basketball player Tra-Deon Hollins.

Currently, Hollins leads the nation in steals; second place isn’t even close.

“It’s exciting, but also overwhelming,” Hollins said, “I had never thought I’d be number one in the category— especially when there’s so many Division 1 athletes that play my sport.”

However, Hollins credits the entire team for their success this season.

“It’s a team sport,” Hollins said, “If you think you can do it on your own, then you shouldn’t be playing the game of basketball.”

Prior to attending UNO, Hollins attended Omaha Central High School, where he met and played basketball with UNO Basketball player, Tre’Shawn Thurman.

Because of this, Hollins had no difficulty feeling at home on the team.

“I knew that if the team could accept Tre’Shawn, they could accept me, too.” Hollins said, “He’s like my little brother.”

Hollins views the team as a family— a family that supports and believes in one another.

“We’ve just really built a strong relationship,” Hollins said.

Hollins commends the team for improving upon last season.

“You have to take it one step at a time— you can’t change anything in a snap of a finger.” Hollins said, “Everyone really decided to dedicate themselves to the team and that’s how we transitioned to being number one in the Summit.”

In order to improve further, Hollins believes the team needs to focus on completing an entire game.

“I feel like if we can come out from start to the last buzzer— we will be hard to beat.” Hollins said.

Hollins’ love for basketball stems from the emotions that are associated with the game.

“You can be happy, sad, angry— there’s so much passion.” Hollins said, “That’s why I play.”

Along with hard work, dedication, and passion, Hollins recognizes that having a determined mindset is another contributor to victory.

“We will go as far as we want to go,” Hollins said, “I feel like we can be on top if we all come to play.”

Hollins, a junior this year, is majoring in Sociology. Although not entirely sure what he’ll be doing in his future, Hollins is sure of one thing: “I want to help my community and be somebody that someone can look up to.”

Hollins spends much of his time on the court, but also finds time to relax and fulfill one of his other passions: poetry.

Hollins sat in UNO’s Sapp Fieldhouse anticipating practice, a case of trophies just beyond the court’s doors, and said:

“I want people to know that you can do whatever you put your mind to, every goal is within reach—if you feel like it’s possible, then it is.”

If Hollins has demonstrated anything, it’s that teamwork and passion have surely helped build the team back to the top.

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