20 years ago my daughter Kasey, just seven years old, walked into my office at home and with all the conviction in the world made the statement. “Mama, I’m going to be an Olympian… I just don’t know which sport yet.”
The amazing part as I looked upon this Incredible already athletically accomplished seven-year-old.. I turned to Kasey And made a promise, “I believe that you will, and if you do, I will buy you a red Mustang!”
Right then she started her dream and as her mom “the dream” was ingrained in my thought process every day. Kasey works very hard and everything she does, except (throughout her younger years) for school work. LOL which Comes back to bite her in the heiny later on in the story.
Her preferred sports were softball and basketball, being nurtured by amazing coaches and organizations like the Boys & Girls Club of Arizona, Scottsdale Miss Softball League, and more. The most influential of her grooming happens to be her own brother. Brandon, a very accomplished athlete on his own, five years her senior gave her the biggest challenges of all of them. He wouldn’t give His sister a break, and she’s so wanted to impress him and to compete with him… that he made her better through complete torture. He challenged her to the point that even today, Kasey states that he is the only person that she cannot eventually beat in anything!
It drives her crazy!
The Power of a Dream
In her junior year of high school, competing on a Traveling club team, which as a single parent was very costly, however, I understood that the only way that she would be seen by recruiters was to make the commitment and the investment for her talents to be recognized. From the New Jersey tournament, I received a phone call.
“Hey Ma, I have someone who’s interested in me, have you ever heard of West Point Military academy?”
Personally, I’m thinking, are you kidding me? Yeah! You’ll never get in there! That part where I told you that she didn’t focus on grades, well that comes into play right here! She was a good student, didn’t have to work for the “B’s” and occasional “A’s” that she got but definitely “on paper” not a West Point candidate!
Well, let me just tell you that they loved her. Coach DePolo wanted her badly, there is an incredibly fast and agile player from Scottsdale Arizona with a screaming fast arm as a shortstop, and with agility like a gazelle, they had their eyes on! The rest was history.
Kasey went on to break several records and West Point Military Academy softball history, as well as a play that went viral at one of her last games before graduation known as the “leap of faith.” https://youtu.be/1PTJBtFl1hQ
This play went viral, as Sports Centers #1 Play of the Week and commanding a nomination for an ESPY award as “Best Play” Only to be knocked out by Green Bay Quarter Backs’ own Aaron Rogers “Hail Mary” play! We thought she was robbed of course!
Back to the dream
After graduation as a 2nd Lieutenant in the US Army, an Officer now, Kasey was deployed in January 2017 to Poland and Germany to serve back her time to the US military for her education. While she was over there. Minding her own business, she receives an email.
Apparently, there was a coach that had hailed from West Point coaching the USA Rugby Women’s 7’s team, who had reached out to West Point to inquire about stellar female athletes that were desperately needed to groom for the 2020 Olympic team.
The 2016 team did not gel. And this coach was determined to find the right players regardless of their experience in rugby… stating the right players could be taught, but the right mindset couldn’t! Kasey’s name was thrown into that bucket. Mind you, she has never played rugby in her life. They asked her to try out when she got back from her deployment.
I received an email from her stating that she couldn’t believe that this was even occurring! We all lost a bit of hope of that “dream” because softball had been yanked out of the Olympic lineup for the 2012 & 2016 games….and that was her game.
We were both reminded of her statement as that of a seven-year-old when she said “I’m going to be an Olympian but I didn’t know which sport yet.” We both realized that this could be her chance! But Rugby of all sports? This was going to be a huge challenge!!!
Kasey tried out when she got back to the states. She impressed not only the coaches of the team but she further had to jump over the hurdles of learning a new game, performing at the highest level of excellence with women who had played the game all of their life, Convince her commanding officer that this was a good idea, then compete against her own teammates who have played the game all of their lives.
It was an amazing goal to achieve. Which most people I truly believe would not have been able to obtain. I am proud to say that Kasey Mccravey, my daughter, is one of 15 USA Rugby Women 7’s Eagles going to the Olympic Games in Tokyo in 2021! Dreams do come true, you can manifest them even as a 7-year-old…believing is 99% of the battle… I believed in her and now I’m on the hook…
I need to find a Ford Mustang Sponsor fast!