Former VCU star Quanitra Hollingworth (left) will try to lead Turkey to the 2012 Olympics in London this summer.

Quanitra Hollingsworth has always been a few years ahead of her peers. Not just in the classroom, where she skipped two years of middle school, not just on the basketball court, where she was dominant, but the way she approached life.

Even as a 16-year-old redshirt freshman at VCU during the 2005-06 season, she was already talking about more adult ventures like traveling Europe and seeing the world. Basketball was never her station in life. It was her vehicle.

“Everyone always assumes the WNBA was my big dream. I could’ve cared less about the WNBA until I was a senior in college,” Hollingsworth, 24, said. “I always wanted to learn about other countries. I didn’t want to be placed in a box. I wanted to experience everything.”

As if playing professionally in Lithuania, Latvia and Hungary the last three years wasn’t enough, Hollingsworth, who is also a member of the WNBA’s New York Liberty, has decided to take her European immersion to another level.

Hollingsworth was recently granted Turkish citizenship, a step that allowed her to become a member of the Turkish National Team ahead of qualifying for the 2012 Olympics in London. On the heels of a Hungarian Championship with Uni Seat Gyor last month, Hollingsworth is set to depart for Istanbul on May 12 for the Turkish National Team’s training camp.