Kamya Hollingshed overcomes adversity to return to court for SGTC Lady Jets

Kamya Hollingshed overcomes adversity to return to court for SGTC Lady Jets
Kamya Hollingshed (Source: WALB)

AMERICUS, Ga. (WALB) - The struggle was real after undergoing surgery for two torn ACLs in two years and at times Kamya Hollingshed doubted if she would ever be able to return to the basketball court as a player for the South Georgia Technical College Lady Jets.  “She is an amazing person and player,” said South Georgia Technical College Lady Jets athletic director and Lady Jets head coach James Frey.  “And her hard work on and off the court is finally paying off.”

The 5′7″ shooting guard from McDonough, GA, arrived at South Georgia Technical College as a freshman for the 2018 – 2019 season.  In her first season, she immediately made a difference on the court playing in 34 games and starting three.  She averaged 8.5 points per game, hit 37% of her shots from the field and from the three-point line.  She was also a 78% free throw shooter.  She was on the court for an average of 17 minutes per game.

During her freshman season, the Lady Jets finished the regular Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association (GCAA) conference season, 18 – 0, the first unbeaten conference season for Coach Frey and only the second in the history of the women’s program.  The Lady Jets captured the GCAA regular-season conference championship, won the NJCAA Region XVII region tournament and the District J tournament to advance to the national tournament for the sixth time in the history of the program and fifth time under Coach Frey.  This was the Lady Jets third consecutive trip to the national tournament and fifth in six years. The Lady Jets finished the season with a 30 – 4 overall record, which was the best for the program at that time.

Coach Frey and the Lady Jets were expecting big things from Kamya Hollingshed as a sophomore but it was not to be.  She tore her first ACL prior to the start of the season.  The Lady Jets kept her on scholarship and redshirted her for the season utilizing her as a player/coach.  She rebounded and rehabbed her knee from the surgery and remained at SGTC for an additional year.  This season, she injured the other knee in preseason and underwent her second ACL surgery. She hoped to be able to return as a player but the outcome was uncertain.

“Kam worked very hard and did everything we asked of her,” said Coach Frey.  “Due to COVID-19, all of the players received an extra year of eligibility for this season, so when Kam and the doctors and trainer felt like she was able to return to the court, we gave it a shot.”

Coach Frey had originally planned to let her start or at least step on to the court in uniform to be recognized during the SGTC sophomore day game on March 20th.  However, she progressed so well, he gave her the opportunity to play at home against East Georgia State College on March 16th.  She did but was cautious and nervous.  “I was excited but also nervous when I got to step out on the court for the first time in two years in an actual game,” said Hollingshed.

Three nights later in Swainsboro against East Georgia State College, Coach Frey put Hollingshed on the court again in the fourth quarter.  The Lady Jets were trailing by 10 points at the end of the third quarter.  Hollingshed hit five three-point shots in the fourth quarter to lift the Lady Jets to a 63 – 62 come from behind victory.

“Kam has redefined the meaning of a positive outlook.  Kam torn both ACL’s the past two pre-seasons but her incredible work ethic and desire in rehab have gotten her back on the court just four and a half months after her most recent surgery,” explained Coach Frey.  “Kam has maintained an incredible attitude through her injuries and became known as ‘Coach Kam.’”

Because of her hard work and determination, she is now known as Kam, the player.  “After leading the Lady Jets to a fourth-quarter, come from behind victory in Swainsboro, against East Georgia State College with five three-pointers, she is now leading the team in three-point percentage shooting,” said Frey.

Hollingshed has a 3.6 GPA and will graduate in May with an Associate’s Degree in Sports and Fitness Management.  She will still have three years of eligibility left as a player but is uncertain right now which direction she will take.

And fortunately for the Lady Jets, Kam will be available to suit up as Kam – the player, when the Lady Jets advance to the NJCAA Region 17 tournament on Friday, April 2nd at 8 p.m. in Rome at Georgia Highlands.  The Lady Jets will face the winner of the third-seeded East Georgia State vs. sixth-ranked Andrew College quarter-final game in the semi-final contest.  The winner of that semifinal game with South Georgia Technical College will advance to the finals on Saturday, April 3rd in Rome.  Georgia Highlands is currently the top-seeded team in the conference and will play the winner of the fourth-ranked Albany Tech and fifth-seeded Central Georgia Tech team at 6 p.m. on Friday, April 2nd for the right to advance to the finals.

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