July 21, 2016
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- University of Michigan women's basketball head coach Kim Barnes Arico announced on Thursday (July 21) that Abby Cole, currently a member of the U-M volleyball team, will join the women's basketball team following the completion of the 2016 volleyball season. Cole, who is 6-5 and will wear No. 32, will have two years of eligibility on the basketball court, playing the remainder of the 2016-17 season and the entire 2017-18 season.
"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," Barnes Arico said. "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. She will be an amazing ambassador for our program. She is a great student, involved in extracurricular activities outside of athletics and of the utmost character. I can't wait for her to join us but look forward to seeing her succeed again on the volleyball court this fall."
"One thing I was certain about going into college was that my basketball career was over," Cole explained. "Growing up, I didn't just play volleyball, I played basketball too. From the beginning of my collegiate career, I have missed being a dual-sport athlete. Following the holiday break during my sophomore year, I had some honest conversations with (volleyball head coach) Mark Rosen. He was very supportive of my desire to play basketball again, knowing that my commitment to the volleyball program would not waiver. Mark connected me with Coach Arico, and when she offered me the chance to continue my basketball career, I could not turn her down. Until I exhaust my volleyball eligibility this December, volleyball will be my top priority as I am focused on finishing my senior season on the strongest note possible. I feel very blessed to have the opportunity to play both of these sports at the greatest university in the world."
"When Abby came to talk with me about the possibility of her playing basketball after she finished her volleyball eligibility, I thought it was a great opportunity for her and for the University of Michigan," Rosen said. "Abby is a not only a great student-athlete but an outstanding person, and her involvement with another program will only strengthen Michigan Athletics. We agreed that her full commitment to volleyball was critical as we make every effort to bring a championship to the University of Michigan in 2016. We are all very excited for her to start her collegiate basketball experience as soon as the volleyball season concludes. I'm looking forward to being able to watch Abby compete in the Maize and Blue for two additional seasons as a basketball student-athlete!"
Cole led Grand Haven to back-to-back state championships (2012, 2013) and was named the Class A Player of the Year by the Associated Press after her senior season on the hardwood. As a senior, she averaged 13.9 points, 9.6 rebounds and 7.9 blocks per game en route to finishing third in Michigan Miss Basketball voting.
A standout on the volleyball court for Michigan, Cole has been named All-Big Ten twice and was a member of the AVCA All-America second team following her junior season. Cole is enrolled in the School of Kinesiology and is majoring in sport management.
Season tickets for the 2016-17 season are on sale for $40. Benefits include a price discount, priority points, invitations for chalk talks with head coach Kim Barnes Arico and exclusive access to team events.
Communications Contact: Sarah VanMetre