We’d like to introduce you to Anika Holowaty, a multisport athlete growing up and now a 2nd year on the Okanagan College Coyotes women’s basketball team. This Okanagan valley athlete was born in Victoria but grew up and went to school down Highway 97 in Penticton. Anika pairs her basketball career with an Arts degree with the goal of becoming a teacher at the end of this journey. Her current position as a student athlete is heavily influenced by her parents both in the student and athlete aspects. Her father is a teacher and her mother played college basketball leading Anika to impressively emulate both simultaneously. Obviously this heavy influence comes with being incredibly close with her parents and siblings. The italian roots meant regular family dinners and plenty of open conversation between the 5 of them.
Regardless of her mom’s college career, Anika has always loved basketball and can’t remember the first time picking up a ball as it was so long ago. She’s made the most of her opportunity with the Coyotes and shown her commitment by commuting regularly from Penticton to the optional training sessions over the summer. Anika sees this dedication as necessary as she wants to improve on her position from last year. Being new to the college level game, Anika redshirted the season which is by no mean an easy task for someone who loves the game. It’s challenging for someone to be at every practice, giving it 110%, improving their game, but not seeing the floor in the game. It was Anika’s strong mental fortitude that kept her competing everyday, pushing the starters to keep improving and ensuring spirits never fell on the court or off. It was her youth coaches Dave Nicloni and Leslie LaCroix who first instilled in her that above all, basketball should be fun.
As Anika enters her second year, you’ll she her working to put in action another teaching from Leslie LaCroix. That advice was that if you’re working hard, you must command respect as you’ve earned it. Despite missing a year of development in grade 10 due to injury, Anika’s hard work has brought her to the compete level of college ball in time for the Coyotes inaugural PacWest season. This year you’ll see Anika on and off the court, absent of fear and putting in the extra hustle. You can catch Anika and the rest of the Okanagan College Coyotes kicking off their PacWest season on November 2nd! We have more great, inspiring, and revealing stories of the Coyote players that looks beyond the stat line, so keep following along this Values over Victory journey!