Heathdale flower 21st December 2023

Holly Dolny Shoots for Success

Congratulations to 2023 graduate Holly Dolny for receiving a Division 1 Basketball scholarship at Loyola University Chicago!

Heathdale flower

At Heathdale, it is our pleasure to help students develop their gifts and talents, ultimately witnessing them flourish in their God-given potential. We are thrilled to announce that Holly Dolny, one of our graduating Class of 2023 students, has been awarded a full college scholarship for her expertise in basketball at Loyola University Chicago, one of the top division colleges in the US!

We had the opportunity to ask Holly some questions about her basketball passion and her aspirations for the future. We hope you enjoy gaining insight into this incredible news.

What does it mean to you to be awarded a full university scholarship for basketball in the US?

"It is a great honour to get the scholarship from Loyola University Chicago (LUC). Going to college in the US wasn’t always a dream of mine, but after seeing my brother going through his own college journey in recent years, my passion and desire to play basketball in America became a big goal for me. I’m super appreciative of LUC for giving me this opportunity to play."

Where did your passion for basketball begin?

"My passion for basketball really came from my older brother, Aaron, as I began basketball because he was always playing. He is my biggest influence and a major reason I have this opportunity. He has been preparing me for this for many years, from our backyard basketball competitions to him constantly pushing me to improve as we got older. He helped show me the path to play in America as I saw him explore his own US college journey and it showed me that it is possible, and that hard work and dedication can take you to where you want to go. My favourite part about playing basketball is the family and connections that arise; there is a culture in team sports that gives you a whole second family."

How did you prepare for this opportunity, both athletically and academically?

"The academic preparation began towards the end of Year 8, where I set out my subject plans for the next four years in order to meet all the requirements for me to play in the US. Athletically, my preparation started when I began playing in the Under 23s league at the age of 13, and then at 16, I joined the open age Championship Women team at Wyndham. This helped prepare me on the court by competing against older, more experienced players."

How do you feel about the college you've chosen, and what excites you the most about your future there?

"I visited Loyola University Chicago in April of this year, and instantly fell in love both with the campus and basketball team. The campus is located by Lake Michigan and in downtown Chicago, which presents so many opportunities to gain experiences outside of the college life. I feel 100% confident in my decision to attend LUC and am most excited to be able to travel to places I have always wished to visit."

How do you think living and studying in the US will contribute to your personal and cultural growth?

"Living in the US, away from my home, family and friends will definitely come with challenges, but will help me to develop independence and important life skills. Studying in the US will be a whole different environment to what I’m used to in Australia, but this change will help me adapt to new ways of living and learning. I’m also looking forward to all the American food – Chipotle is my favourite – and living the college life you see in movies."

What are some of your goals, both academically and in basketball?

"I want to graduate with a degree that can open career paths for me in the future, but also partake in courses and classes that will provide me with experiences and memories I can cherish. In basketball, I hope to one day play in ‘March Madness’ against some of the country’s best teams and players and continue playing at a higher level."

What advice do you have for aspiring athletes who dream of achieving similar success?

"My advice is to learn to manage your time. Juggling both school commitments and sports commitments can be really difficult, but it’s a skill that needs to be learnt."