Is Quanitra Hollingsworth the savior of Turkish women’s basketball?
Hollingsworth, a 2009 VCU graduate, scored 10 of her team-high 14 points in the second half to lead Turkey to a 70-65 win over Croatia Sunday in Olympic women’s basketball action in London. The win served as Turkey’s final tune-up before the quarterfinal round.
Aided by Hollingsworth’s steady post presence, the Turks finished 4-1 in Group A and will meet Russia (2-3) Tuesday at 3 p.m. in the quarters. That game will be broadcast on the NBC Olympic Basketball Channel. The winner meets either France (5-0) or the Czech Republic (2-3) in Thursday’s semifinals.
Prior to the London Games, Turkey had never qualified for the Olympics in women’s basketball. Now, the Turks – and Hollingsworth – are just two wins away from a medal.
Hollingsworth, a Chesapeake, Va. native and recently naturalized Turkish citizen, averaged 10.6 points and 6.0 rebounds in group play despite foul trouble.
The 6-foot-5 Hollingsworth is the second former VCU student-athlete to reach the quarterfinal round at these London Games. Hayley Moorwood, who played women’s soccer for the Rams in 2005, advanced to the quarters with her native New Zealand last week. New Zealand lost 2-0 to the United States to end Moorwood’s medal hopes.
Yann Bonato is the only former Ram known to have medaled in the Olympics. Bonato, who played men’s basketball at VCU during the 1990-91 season, earned a silver medal with France at the 2000 Sydney Games.