SAN LUIS OBISPO – The second leading shot blocker in Cal Poly men’s basketball history, 6-10 forward Hank Hollingsworth has met the NCAA criteria for an extension waiver and was granted a sixth year of eligibility recently to return to the Mustang program for the 2020-21 season.
Hollingsworth, who redshirted during his initial 2015-16 season on campus, competed for Cal Poly the following three years before sustaining a season-ending injury just three games into his 2019-20 senior season.
To be granted a sixth year, Hollingsworth had to meet NCAA-mandated criteria, principally that he was denied the opportunity to participate in two of four seasons of competition within his five-year period of eligibility; that he did not compete during his initial year of collegiate enrollment (2015-16) and that he received a hardship waiver for one additional season during his five-year eligibility window.
“I couldn’t be more excited about (being granted a sixth year). It’s definitely a relief knowing that I’m going to be able to play again and not end my career the way I did last season,” Hollingsworth said. “I’m very happy to be able to play for (head coach John) Smith and this coaching staff, to be able to continue learning from them and to be back on the court with the guys. I can’t wait to be a part of the team again.”
Hollingsworth completed his bachelor’s degree in March in kinesiology with a minor in communications. He plans to pursue his MBA.
“We’re excited that the NCAA granted our big fella another year,” Smith said. “He’s the anchor of our defense and poses a big-time threat at the front of the rim.”
Hollingsworth, who needs just 22 more blocks to overtake the program record of 136 established by Varnie Dennis (2000-04), is a 58.0 percent career shooter for the Mustangs. Hollingsworth’s 52 blocks as a sophomore during the 2017-18 season rank as the second highest single year total in Cal Poly program history. He also shot a career best 63.1 percent as a sophomore before averaging a collegiate high 4.6 rebounds per game as a junior two years ago.
Hollingsworth is the first Cal Poly player since John Manley (2003-09) to have received an extension waiver and a sixth year of eligibility.
- Chris Giovannetti, Cal Poly Assistant Athletics Communications Director
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