STUDENT ATHLETE OF THE WEEK PRESENTED BY SUBWAY, CELL TECH AND PETERS HEATING AND AIR
Class Rank: 5th out of 245
College: Louisville (Volleyball)
Major: Undecided between Chemistry/Biology, ultimately headed to Med School
Involvements: Shine a Light on Autism, Polar Plunge, Natural Helpers, National Honor Society, Key Club
Young Medical Professionals Club, FBLA, Student Council Vice President.
She is an indisputably gifted natural athlete....
But even at that, Gabbie Wiley's dreams of playing Division One Vollleyball, which she will do next season at Louisville, were only made possible by a remarkable investment of sweat equity...
Gabbie Wiley: "They always say hard work pays off and it definitely does. I wouldn't be where I was if I didn't put in the time and go down to Saint Louis and work with the best coaches I could get."
Her routine certainly isn't for the feint of heart. Three days a week, throughout her entire high school career, Gabbie Wiley has headed to St Louis to play on an elite club volleyball circuit...and to work to hone her game. Which makes it all the more impressive that this driven Hannibal senior has not only paid a price to reach her collegiate athletic dream, but fashioned one of the five highest GPA in her class, while also maintaining a healthy list of non-sports related activities and involvements.
Gabbie Wiley: "It's a huge time commitment. Going to St Louis, traveling, homework. Everything. But its just about how you balance your time."
But it is also about how you approach your life and more than anything, Gabbie is very directed. The same, well-thought out formula she used to earn her place with the Louisville Volleyball program is similarly in play for her collegiate academic goals as well.
Gabbie Wiley: "When I attend Louisville I will be majoring in either Biology or Chemistry, I haven't decided yet. And then getting into their Medical Program after my four years of undergrad. I want to become a Radiologist. So, hopefully, that dream will be fulfilled too. The opportunity is there...especially when you are an athlete."
Not one to waste time, Gabbie is already meticulously re-tooling her game for the Division One level, where more fiercesome competition and the challenge of a position change awaits.
Gabbie Wiley: "The next level...the only thing different is the speed of the game and the perfection of your movements on the court...My position change really isn't that big of a deal because I play all the way around and my coach, Anne Cordes, has also told me you could have a chance at playing front row. But I am focusing this club season at Defense, still playing front row, but defense definitely because that's what I will be playing at the next level."
Gabbie Wiley "You know, you really have to work hard when you are my height. My height is a disadvantage. But then it is an advantage on some aspects. You know, I could be six foot but un-coordinated. Or I could be shorter. So I work with what I've got."
And in that respect, with an already proven ability to meet a challenge, Gabbie rightfully has a lot for which to be proud.
Gabbie Wiley: "I am very happy with where I ended up. And I definitely would not have made it without my hard work. Now looking back, it was all worth it. I feel like everything has come into place...but the work starts now."