Basketball junkie: Bozeman 11-year-old Hollis Holmquist in love with the game

Hollis Holmquist
Posted at 8:37 AM, Jun 21, 2024

GREAT FALLS — Typically it can take years of playing for someone to realize they have fallen in love with the game of basketball, but there are a few rare cases that one may know at an early age. Bozeman 11-year-old Hollis Holmquist is one of those people.

At the age of 6, Hollis already knew that she wanted to stick to basketball. It came easy to her since she comes from a family of basketball players. Hollis’ sister, father and grandfather all played basketball, which sparked an early interest for Hollis.

She became more convinced on the idea of playing as she spent more time in the gym with her father as her was coaching.

Hollis’ dad is Wes Holmquist, an alum of Montana Western. Wes began coaching in Charlo before moving on to to Great Falls CMR where he spent five years. His next 12 years were spent with the Bozeman High boys, where he won two state championships.

At the startup of Gallatin High School, Wes moved over to coach the Raptor girls and led them to their first postseason appearance in his third year.

“I definitely look up to my dad. I want to be like him because he is really good at basketball and I’ve heard from a lot of his old teammates that he was a good person when it came to basketball and that he was a good player,” Hollis told MTN Sports while participating at the annual Josh Huestis basketball camp in Great Falls.

When she plays with other girls her age, she begins to stand out because of how good she already is. Her performance is a result of her passion for the game and how much work she puts in behind closed doors.

“She has a true passion for the game. She loves everything about it. She loves the process of actually getting better and working on things,” said Wes. “She loves of course playing like every kid does but she’ll spend time working on drills and all the things you need to do to get better.”

“I usually try to work out for at least 20 minutes a day. Either shooting, because I have a hoop at my house, or going outside and doing ball handling and that kind of stuff,” said Hollis. “I know kids practice a lot but if you want to be the best player you can you have to practice every day.”

Wes recently stepped down from the head coaching position at Gallatin. It is safe to say that Hollis was not the biggest fan of that decision.

“She’s just a sports junkie and loves basketball,” Wes said. “When I decided to retire from coaching, she probably took it harder than anybody because she didn’t get to be in the gym every day. But she’s found her way to get in the gym as much as she can because she just loves basketball.”

The Holmquist family is soon returning to live in the city of Great Falls and while Hollis still has a few years before high school, she is looking forward to playing for the Rustlers. Hollis told MTN Sports that she feels Great Falls CMR is a good school with a good basketball program that is supported well by the community.

If she could have it her way, she would want her dad to come out of retirement and be on the sidelines during her high school career.

“I feel like him coaching me can help me learn more about it because he knows what my weaknesses and my strengths are. I think it would be best for him to coach me,” Hollis said.

Until then, Hollis plans to continue working as hard as she can to become the best basketball player she can be.