05/08/13 — Heath's collegiate destination -- NC Wesleyan

View Archive

Heath's collegiate destination -- NC Wesleyan

By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on May 8, 2013 1:46 PM

A difficult decision following her sophomore season at Rosewood turned into the right move for Holly Heath.

Heath's choice to walk away from soccer and dedicate herself completely to basketball paid dividends during the final two years of her high school career. She blossomed into a reliable outside shooter and she is continuing her career next fall at North Carolina Wesleyan.

A visit to the campus, an opportunity to eat lunch with several of the Battling Bishops' players and feeling comfortable with their style of play was enough to help Heath make her decision. She also considered attending William Peace University in Raleigh.

"I took a visit to Wesleyan and I watched them play," Heath said. "I liked their campus better and I liked their style of play better. They run a lot, which we did here and they like to get the ball inside and dish it out to shooters.

"At the time they didn't have shooters to dish to, so I'll be one of the shooters that they can dish to."

Countless hours in the gym improving all aspects of her game, particularly her jump shot, have helped Heath improve as player. She averaged 7.5 points, two assists and three rebounds a game her senior season.

A dedication to developing her footwork helped Heath become a better defender in head coach Ryan Wells' system that used both man-to-man and matchup zone defenses.

"My freshman year I was a little scrawny and I was teetering between basketball and soccer," Heath said. "I broke my ankle my sophomore year and I decided after that I just wanted to focus on basketball. I spent a lot of time in the gym shooting and in the weight room."

Heath benefited from being an important part of a Rosewood offense that forced opposing defenses to focus on multiple scorers. Freshman point guard Lexi Mercer averaged 18 points a game and junior guard Alicia Burns provided 11 points a contest.

The Eagles have steadily improved in each of the past two seasons. After finishing 3-17 three years ago, Rosewood won a combined 28 games the past two seasons. Heath and her teammates came together as a group and began to buy into Wells' philosophy.

"We came together as a team," Heath said. "We spent some times at some team camps and had a lot of bonding time. Coach Wells is like a father figure to me and I know that I can go to him about anything."

N.C. Wesleyan finished 13-14 last season, including an 11-7 record in USA South Conference play.