UM’s Cole will play basketball after volleyball

David Goricki
The Detroit News
Abby Cole in action as a senior at Grand Haven in 2013.

Ann Arbor – Abby Cole will be a two-sport athlete during her senior year at Michigan, deciding to play basketball for the Wolverines in January after finishing her volleyball career this fall.

Cole will have two years of eligibility in basketball and she could help the Wolverines get back to the NCAA tournament after a three-year absence.

Cole is that good. She was a two-year Detroit News Dream Team member her final two seasons in high school, helping Grand Haven battle back from an 18-point deficit to defeat Grosse Pointe South 54-53 in the Class A title game her junior year with an 18-point, 10-block game.

Cole left Grand Haven with a 51-game winning streak, averaging 14 points, 9.5 rebounds and 7.5 blocks her senior year, blocking eight shots and grabbing seven rebounds in a 60-54 state championship game win over Grosse Pointe South in a rematch.

“I saw Abby play basketball in high school when I first got the job at Michigan and was blown away with her ability to impact the game on the defensive end,” said Michigan coach Kim Barnes Arico. “The other team could barely get a shot off around the basket. Her length is incredible, and she moves so well for her size. She is an elite-level athlete who will bring another dimension to our team. When she approached me about playing basketball, I was thrilled.”

While many players get in foul trouble while attempting to block shots, Cole had the ability to go straight up and make clean blocks without making contact with her opponent, a reason she reached Dream Team status twice.

Cole should be available to the Wolverines for the Big Ten season, after volleyball, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see her on the court 15-20 minutes a game.

Barnes Arico already received a major boost when Miss Basketball award winner Kysre Gondrezick signed earlier this year. Gondrezick averaged 40.5 points her senior year at Benton Harbor.

Cole, a middle blocker, is a two-time All-Big Ten performer and a second-team All-American her junior year in volleyball. She was named one of the three team captains for her senior year and recently returned from a two-week trip in China while competing for the U.S. College National Team, averaging 11.25 kills per match while earning tournament MVP for helping her team defeat Jiangsu to win the championship.

“From the beginning of my collegiate career, I have missed being a dual-sport athlete,” Cole said. “I feel very blessed to have the opportunity to play both of these sports at the greatest university in the world.”