W. Basketball ACC Legend Gottstein Holden: BC's Lasting Impression
March 7, 2014
Written by senior Kristen Scott
Former women's basketball player, Becky Gottstein Holden, was named to the 2014 class of ACC Women's Basketball Legends. Holden will represent Boston College and will be honored on Saturday at the ACC Women's Basketball Tournament in Greensboro, N,C. She reflected on her selection to the 2014 ACC Legends class and her experience as a student-athlete at Boston College.
"I was lucky enough that I had the choice of where I got to attend college. Boston College was so attractive to me obviously for its academic reputation, but also for the ability to be a part of building an emerging program. Prior to my getting there, the women's basketball team had had some early success, they were kind of knocking on the door of some larger victories," Holden said.
Holden felt the success of team immediately upon arriving to Chestnut Hill. In the five years she was a member of the women's team, the Eagles made appearances in the NCAA Tournament four times.
"My freshman year was the first year that we had made the tournament. And we even won our first game. That was really exciting. It was a really big victory for the program, the coaches and the women who had played on the team prior. Each year, we kept getting better and enjoying more success," said Holden. "It was just very cool to be a part of building that winning tradition. We had some great players and our coaching staff was just tremendous. It's just awesome to have been a part of a program that is still continuing to find success even in the extremely difficult Atlantic Coast Conference."
The memories Holden made over the course of her five-year playing career at the Heights still stick with her today. The biggest victory came during her final season with the team. Boston College was playing then-favored Vanderbilt. One second remained on the clock and Holden was at the free throw line with a chance to win the game. Holden had to make just one of the foul shots.
"Well, I actually missed them both. But I was probably having one of the best games of my career. Ultimately we went into overtime and we won on a last-second shot by one of my teammates. Still to this day, I don't even care that I missed those shots because our team pulled it out and it was just awesome. It was the first time BC women's basketball had made it to the Sweet 16 in the NCAA Tournament. My husband still teases me about missing those free throws," Holden said.
In the grand scheme of things, those two free throws didn't reflect the body of work Holden had put together at Boston College. She finished her career as a leading scorer with 1,490 points, ninth on the all-time list. Holden was also one of the top rebounders in the program's history, grabbing 884 boards, which is fourth on the all-time list. Holden attributes her personal success to her determination and work ethic off the court.
"It comes down to my willingness to try to outwork my competitors. I was never really that athletic. I think I just worked really, really hard and tried to do the things that aren't necessarily glamorous like getting on the floor and diving for a ball. Just doing the things that really good teams are made of is what translated into our team success. I think that quality came from our coach, Cathy Inglese. She really instilled the mindset that you can find ways to win if you're really strong in your fundamentals and if you do the things that no one else really wants to do," said Holden.
The impact that Coach Inglese and her teammates had on her has lasted beyond her playing career at Boston College. When Holden left BC, she stopped playing basketball. The lessons she learned, however, have made a lasting impression on her.
"I've taken those things with me post-graduation. I still take a lot of those lessons that I learned from playing under Coach Inglese and for Boston College with me in the professional world. Until most recently, I worked for Boston College in fundraising where I talk to parents and alumni about supporting students through endowing scholarships like the one that allowed me to attend BC. I speak about BC with a great amount of pride because I know that attending BC made me who I am today. It opened the doors that were open for me because I went to BC," Holden said.
The best part about being selected as an ACC Women's Basketball Legend for Holden is the opportunity to represent her alma mater among such a notable group of women in one of the most outstanding conferences in the nation.
"I'm certainly very humbled by the award and I'm very grateful to represent Boston College in this capacity. The ACC is such a strong athletic and academic conference--it's such a great thing for BC to now be a part of. It is such a great honor to be able to represent BC in the ACC at the women's tournament this year. It also shows the strength of the teams I was on when I was here," said Holden.
Holden and the rest of the Legends will be recognized at the annual ACC Women's Basketball Legends' Luncheon on Saturday, March 8, at 1 p.m., and then will be introduced at the Greensboro Coliseum at halftime of the first semifinal game that evening.
"I'm really excited to be able to see some really great women's basketball. My daughter Murphy Jane has a poster of Kristen Doherty and Katie Zenevitch up on her wall. I'm really looking forward to seeing Coach Johnson and the team and some really awesome basketball. Plus, I'm excited to meet and congratulate the other honorees," said Holden.
Holden will treasure the celebration of her accomplishments and experiences at Boston College. The one piece of advice Holden has for current BC student athletes? Enjoy it.
"Really take the time to enjoy the opportunity you have right now. To be at Boston College and playing a sport is an incredibly amazing experience. Looking back on my own experience, I now have a great amount of appreciation for everything I was able to accomplish and do during my career at BC and for everything that BC taught me that allowed me to grow. I consider myself extremely lucky to have been able to play a sport at Boston College. So, I would definitely say to just enjoy every moment," said Holden.