Kendall Coley and Kennedi Orr, two longtime friends now in high school, are going to be able to make one of their childhood dreams come true by playing college sports at the same school — Nebraska.
They’ve known each other since preschool in the Minneapolis area. Coley committed to play for the Nebraska women’s basketball team on Friday, announcing her decision Saturday evening. She’s a 6-foot-2 shooting guard who is a high school junior. Coley is the No. 32-ranked player nationally in the 2021 class according to Prospects Nation. Her sister, Chase, was a two-year starter for the Iowa women's basketball team.
Playing for St. Louis Park High School near Minneapolis, Kendall Coley averaged about 16 points per game this season and earned all-conference honors.
One of her best friends is Kennedi Orr, who is a Nebraska volleyball recruit and also a high school junior. Orr is from Eagan, Minnesota, and the setter has played with the U.S. youth national team.
Orr committed to Nebraska more than two years ago, and was thrilled when Coley told her she was also going to attend the school. Coley was at Orr’s house Saturday.
“It’s really exciting,” Coley said. “I just remember when we were younger I’d always say, ‘OK, you’re going to play volleyball at a school, and I’m going to play basketball at a school, and we’re going to go together.’ It’s just really exciting that’s how it really ended up working out.”
Coley moved from Eagan to Minneapolis in the second grade, but she and Orr remained close.
“I just tell people (Orr is) my cousin, because we were around each other all of the time,” Coley said.
Coley also plays volleyball, and the friends' schools played each other at the state volleyball tournament.
Coley plays her club basketball for FBC North, which is coached by her dad, Tyler. Nebraska has been watching Coley play on the club circuit for several years.
Her college decision came down to Nebraska and Washington. While Nebraska has several open scholarship spots on its roster now, Coley said she made her decision now because the thought of Nebraska no longer having a spot for her in the future concerned her.
“Basically I just knew that’s where I wanted to be,” Coley said. “It was my No. 1 choice, and if anything would get in the way of me being able to accept my scholarship offer, I would be really sad. I wouldn’t feel like I was going to the school that’s right for me.
“Going there, it felt like the right place and everyone was so nice when I visited. They seemed like genuine people, and the support from the fans was so cool. It just seemed like a really nice environment to be a part of.”
Coley is the third known player in Nebraska’s 2021 recruiting class, joining Kendall Moriarty (Lisle, Illinois) and Allison Weidner (Humphrey St. Francis).