Prosper senior volleyball standout Hope Gramly can finally rest a little easier this week after announcing her decision to attend McKendree University in the fall.
While she will be able to continue to dominate on the court at McKendree, it’s the lanes that brought her to choose the school in the first place.
Gramly, who has only been bowling a little over seven years, was one of, if not the top college recruit in the country for bowling with schools such as University of Nebraska, Vanderbilt and McKendree University vying for her commitment.
In that short time frame, she has been awarded a number of accomplishments and honors including Teen Bowlers Circuit Championships, 2017 Team USA Trials, has been named the Teen Bowlers Circuit Bowler of the Year twice and has bowled two perfect 300 games.
“All three schools have incredible programs, but I can’t think of anyone better to play for than Bryan and Shannon O’Keefe,” said Gramly.
Bryan O’Keefe was an assistant coach for Team USA and serves as McKendree’s Director of Bowling while his wife, Shannon, a professional bowler, is the head coach of the women’s bowling program.
While at McKendree, Gramly will be studying exercise and sports sciences in her path to becoming a Chiropractor.
Prior to her scholarship meeting at McKendree, Gramly had resigned herself to the fact that because she was going to bowl at the collegiate level, this year would be the last year for her volleyball career, but something happened that changed the course of the meeting.
“The athletic director asked me in our meeting how I felt about walking away from volleyball and I started to tear up thinking about it,” she said, “He told me he had seen my story on the news and wanted me to talk to the McKendree volleyball coach.”
After a brief meeting with volleyball coach Nickie Sanlin, Gramly had an offer to not only bowl for McKendree, but to also join the volleyball team.
“It was incredible,” said Gramly. “They were very encouraging and supportive of my being a dual-sport collegiate athlete. I am thrilled to be able to play both sports. I love the combination of the two and how different they are in almost every aspect.”
Prosper head volleyball coach Erin Kauffman said, “Hope is the perfect candidate to be a dual-sport athlete in college because she’s mature, she takes care of her business, and she just understands how to manage a chaotic lifestyle.”
Coach O’Keefe will be a great resource for Gramly while at O’Keefe. In addition to her phenomenal bowling successes, she was a first team all-American softball centerfielder at Portland State University.
In her many tournaments, Gramly has had the opportunity to actually bowl with a couple of the women on the McKendree bowling team, which last year was the first Division II program to ever win the NCAA Women’s Bowling Championship.
Gramly currently stays busy on the court with the 11-0 Prosper Eagles volleyball season in full swing, but says she still tries to squeeze in a tournament here and there to stay on top of her game. But after the season is over, she will resume her training by driving to Dallas’ USA Bowl at least three times a week.
“After State, I will hit the lanes hard,” said Gramly. “I drive all the way to Dallas because they give me the lanes and time to keep me competitive.”
Kauffman added, “I watch Hope absolutely come alive on the court after a big block or kill. There’s a certain etiquette in bowling so she doesn’t get to celebrate like she does on the court. She is so competitive and loves winning so I was happy she made the decision to play both sports.”
Renee Marler | Renee@CedarbrookMedia.com