Janna Holley receives SCIAC Newcomer of the Year award


Photo contributed by Janna Holley

First-year Janna Holley’s average of 12.3 points per game this season was the second highest among the Regals basketball team.

Xanthe Schaub, Reporter

First-year point guard Janna Holley, who recently completed her first women’s basketball season at California Lutheran University, was granted the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Newcomer of the Year award and became the second Regal to earn it.

“When I first came to Cal Lutheran, I told my coach that I wanted to get Newcomer of the Year, and she told me I had to work for it and that’s exactly what I did,” Holley said. 

Sophomore shooting guard Alexa Greenwood, Holley’s teammate, said that the team has been nothing but “supportive, proud, and pleasantly surprised” of Holley’s achievement.  

“Janna is very special and an amazing teammate. She brings out the fire in all of us and wants to win,” Greenwood said in an email interview. 

Holley averaged 12.3 points and 4.3 assists per game this season, which helped her receive the Newcomer of the Year award and make the second All-SCIAC team. 

Greenwood said that Holley made her mark from the get-go and influenced the team in the best possible manner. 

 “Coming into a college atmosphere for a highschool basketball player, it takes time to fit into the new atmosphere, and for Janna, right off the bat she had totally fit in,” Greenwood said. 

Junior forward Naomi Gipson, another of Holley’s teammates, said that the team would not have been able to get as far as they did if it wasn’t for Holley’s hard work and that she is always looking out for her teammates. 

The Regals finished fourth in the SCIAC standings and qualified for the SCIAC Tournament this season, an improvement on the 2021-22 season, which saw the Regals finish second to last in the conference standings.  

Playing since she was in third grade, Holley said over the course of time she became more competitive and wanted to take it to the next level.

“Janna completely deserved that award, she has been a huge asset to our team and has a lot of talent for being a freshman,” Gipson said.

Gipson and Greenwood said Holley can lead them to win the SCIAC in the near future with her leadership skills. 

 “Janna is so unselfish when she plays, and her court vision is great. She has that confidence to take it to the hoop when we have little to no time left in the game and has been successful with that many times,” Gipson said. 

Holley said the Newcomer of the Year award has given her more confidence to keep pushing the team, and, with three seniors leaving this year, she feels as though the pressure is on but is motivated to strive for success in seasons ahead.

“Receiving the newcomer award has given me more confidence starting my athletic college career, and I hope to receive more awards in the upcoming seasons,” Holley said.