Father's Day is just two days away, but this year's holiday will be extra special for WKU Men's Basketball sophomore guard Taveion Hollingsworth because he'll be celebrating as a father himself for the very first time.
While he has a fiery attitude on the court, he's learned to be fatherly off of it because on July 24, 2017, Hollingsworth's life was changed forever.
"I feel like I've matured more," he said. "I feel like ever since she was born I've been starting to act older."
"She" is Taveion's eleven-month old daughter, Aubrey. From the moment she was born, the little girl's given the rising sophomore a new reason to lay it all out on the line every time he steps foot on the court.
"Now that she, my daughter's here, I feel like I need to go harder for her, and I gotta make it just for her," Hollingsworth said.
Freshmen in college deal with a lot of challenges, but being a student-athlete and a father at the same time was something Taveion had never dealt with before.
"Last year was kind of stressful because I didn't know how to manage things, but now it's kind of easier on me," he said. "Another thing is my mom. She kind of helped me manage and go through it. She always told me, 'Tay, it'll be okay. She'll be here. You just keep doing what you're doing.' So I took that in."
With a little help from his mom and a renewed focus on the game, Hollingsworth had arguably the best freshman season in program history, a season that included breaking Courtney Lee's freshman scoring record with 506 points. Now, the Lexington, Kentucky, native hopes his accomplishments on the court, and his demeanor off of it, set a good example for his daughter in the future.
"I want her to see me doing all of this, I want her to see that she can do that too," Taveion said.
Hollingsworth says he doesn't know if she'll follow in her dad's footsteps and play basketball, but right now he's more focused on helping her take her first actual steps.
"Right now I'm trying to get her to walk," he said. "My favorite thing is we'll be walking down the sidewalk. I'll take her for walks sometimes. I'll hold both her hands and try and get her to start walking and I try and let her go."
With his heart focused on his daughter who "means the world" to him, and his head focused on improving his game on the court, Taveion is poised for a breakout season in his second year on the Hill.
And this, his first Father's Day as a dad, will certainly be one he never forgets.