(Fun Facts, where we find out more about FCIAC athletes, was a regular feature on The Ruden Report Overtime newsletter. Until we start regularly publishing the newsletter again, we are posting them here.)
A new Fun Facts with Staples girls basketball player Nicole Holmes.
As a senior this year, how have you stepped up to lead your team during these unprecedented times? Due to corona our team hasn’t been allowed into any gyms, which has made scheduling practices very difficult. As a senior and wanting to make sure we made the best out of this year, the other seniors and I have organized numerous practices on the field and at any outside court we could find. It’s obviously not ideal but it is better to be in some shape than none.
Are you planning to play basketball in college? I am not planning on playing basketball in college, which is why I’ve never wanted this season to happen more since it will be my last time playing on a competitive and intense team.
Last year Staples made it all the way to the state semifinals. How did you feel when your season was cut short due to the pandemic? When our season was cancelled last year it was truly heartbreaking. Watching our entire season disappear so suddenly after we had worked so hard to get (so far) was very difficult.
How has your team dealt with the uncertainty of having a season this winter? Knowing that we’re all in it together and one team has helped me unimaginably. I always have people I can turn to who understand what I’m going through and my feelings.
What’s one thing you always do after a big win? One thing that we always do after a big win is huddle up in our cramped little closet/locker room and form a dance circle. We all start dancing and screaming and I never have a bigger smile on my face other than during these moments.
Any advice to freshmen on your team? Appreciate every moment. I would do anything to go back to freshman year and start all over to experience all of the laughs, the cries and the people that you most likely will never be as close to again. It is truly an incredible experience as you become a family and learn how to push yourself to unimaginable points. The sport has taught me so much about determination, will power and resilience. Although this year and maybe the following are not ideal and it might not ever be the same, the sport is still there and it is still better than nothing.
Any new quarantine hobbies? This summer I was endlessly outside on long walks, running, tanning or reading.
What’s your best personal sports moment? I don’t think I could ever pick one particular sports moment that was my best. I absolutely love every moment on the court with my teammates. However, I am the happiest when I am diving on the floor for a steal or pouring my heart out on defense to later push up the ball towards my teammates. I believe the best moments are when we operate as one and support each other in every which way.
— Ella Stoler