Haley Will rallies to commit to play for NYU


By Caley Griebenow, associate editor-in-chief
As soon as Senior Haley Will stepped onto New York University’s campus on Aug. 18, she could instantly picture her life there, not only as a student, but as an athlete.
“I love big cities; I love the atmosphere,” Will said. “I know The opportunities [NYU] has will be incredible.”
Around spring break last year, a representative from NYU called Will and expressed interest in her playing for the Bobcats. These calls continued into the summer as Will played with her travel team and journeyed to places like Washington D.C. for big tournaments.
It wasn’t until a week before school started that Will verbally committed to NYU, meaning she still has to get into the school academically before anything is set in stone, but she will have a “good word” put in for her since she’s an athlete.
Will was considering playing in college for a while, since she can’t imagine not being a student-athlete.
“My whole life, I haven’t just been a student,” Will said. “It was hard to just be a student [when I was sick]. I remember going to every practice and every game just because I didn’t know what else to do with my time. Every important person in my life I met through the game.”
Being able to play in college is an especially big accomplishment for Will because she did not play at all her junior year due to health issues. That’s why she made sure to focus and play to the best of her abilities over the summer because she knew college scouts would be watching. Playing over the summer also motivated her to think more about improving her health long-term.
“If I only try to push through this season, I’m not going to get myself better, and it’s not going to help the team,” Will said.
For Gina Will, Haley’s mom, committing to play for NYU speaks volumes of how Haley had to persevere to make up for not playing for a whole season.
“It’s been a long journey,” Gina said. “[Not playing for a whole season] is obviously a concern when you want to play in college. [But] she’s worked so, so hard just to be in the game. Any chance she gets to play, she’ll be playing.”
Haley gives credit to her teammates for always being there for her when she was going through her health issues.
“They been so supportive,” Haley said. “They would always tell me, ‘You’ll feel better’ or ‘You’ll come back.’ They’ve been so encouraging and I really don’t think I could have gotten to a point in June where I was showing coaches I could still play…I’m also excited though, because missing a whole season is hard. But I’m excited to play with the girls again.”
Senior Kendra Gancarz, Haley’s teammate, has been playing with Haley since eighth grade, so it was hard for her to see Haley not be able to play. However, she’s excited to play with Haley for one more season.
“We’re all going to try and have the best season ever,” Gancarz said. “It’s going to be awesome to play with each other one last time because the seniors were pretty much all on the feeder team, and then [Haley] will go on and obviously be amazing.”
This upcoming season will be bittersweet for Haley as she works to have a successful run with her teammates, but to also be excited for the future.
“We have so many different skills on our team, and if we can all come together, I think our team could be really strong this year…But I can’t wait for [playing at NYU] to be my life.”