Wayne Country Day's Jala Holloman

Wayne Country Day’s Jala Holloman, center, signs her letter of intent to play basketball at Lees-McRae College.

Jala Holloman experienced the best of both worlds on her visit to Lees-McRae College.

The Division II school located in Banner Elk offers a robust, non-athletic curriculum. Plus, the Bobcats are an up-and-coming basketball program.

The Wayne Country Day senior officially signed a national letter of intent with Lees-McRae on Friday afternoon. She considered a few other schools before signing with the Bobcats.

“It feels great,” Holloman said about signing. “I’m excited to go to college and play basketball. That was my dream. It took a long time to figure out which school I wanted to go to, and Lees-McRae really had what I wanted, so I’m happy.”

The Bobcats, who won 14 games combined from 2016-2018, finished a combined 14-15 overall and 10-10 in Conference Carolinas play the past last season.

A leader on and off the court, Holloman has been Wayne Country Day’s engine. She arrived at Wayne Country Day three years ago and quickly made a name for herself.

For her career, Holloman averaged 12.2 points, 2.7 assists, 2.5 and 2.7 steals per game. This past season she averaged 18.7 points, 4.3 assists and 4.1 steals per game. The Chargers had a 22-3 record and reached the NCISAA 2-A semifinals.

“At Wayne Country Day, we are a family,” Holloman said. “Playing here was fun. When I first got here, I was scared a little bit, because I had never been here. The coaches here push you, and they want to see you succeed. My teammates are great, they pushed me every day, they’re really like my sisters. Basically, we’re just a big old family, and I love that about Wayne Country Day.”

She is member of the 2,000-point club, a three-time NCISAA Coastal Plains player of the year and a three-time NCISAA all-state selection.

“Coaching Jala was fun because she’s an exciting player with a dynamic motor,” Wayne Country Day head coach Maurice Jones said. “She never stops, she gives a 100 percent on both ends of the court during practice and in games. She made coaching for me easy because she’s such a good player.

“I feel very proud of Jala. I knew she could do it, and I know she can play at the next level, but I mostly feel proud she’s going for her academic goals and basketball is secondary.”

The mental and physical grind of playing high-level high school competition helped Holloman grow stronger on the court, and she is more than ready to play basketball at the next level.