Diver chose EMU over Illinois-Chicago

Kelly Hendricks

The one person who Eastern Michigan University senior Kelly Hendricks looks up to the most is her best friend, current EMU student Taylor Reckert.

“[Taylor] is in the Occupational Therapy program and has her masters degree at the age of 21,” Hendricks said. “I am so proud of her because she already has set herself up for great things.”
Reckert recalls the time when she and Hendricks first met each other.

“When we found out we were going to be roommates freshman year, we decided to go to Portillo’s to get lunch and then go shopping for our dorm room,” Reckert said. “I would say us being from Illinois did help in forming our friendship.”

Playing multiple sports growing up helped prepare Hendricks for the four years she has served on EMU’s women’s dive team.

“I was into gymnastics, swam, played soccer and horseback riding,” Hendricks said. “Ultimately, my mother forced me to choose between horseback riding and gymnastics because the cost for both of those sports are expensive, but instead I chose swimming.”

Hendricks comes to EMU from Schaumburg, Ill., which is a 45-minute drive from Chicago, Illinois. She attended Conant High School in Hoffman Estates, Ill.

Hendricks, 21, is the youngest of three siblings: Kira, who is 10 years older, and Korey, who is seven years older.

Before coming to EMU, Hendricks received a scholarship offer from the University of Illinois-Chicago but turned it down.

“UIC would have been too close to home for me, so I wanted to go out of state and I found Eastern,” Hendricks said. “I contacted Loren ‘Buck’ Smith and he ultimately was the reason why I decided
to come to EMU.”

This biology major is set to graduate this spring and is searching for various internships across the country. She wants to travel
after graduating from EMU.

Her most rewarding moment as an EMU diver was last season when she made it to the NCAA Championships in Auburn, Ala.

“It was really exciting because I always dreamed of making it, and it was great to see all of the different divers from across the country compete,” Hendricks said.

Every great team has memorable moments and for Hendricks, it was the training trips the team participated in.

“We have to be with each other 24/7, and as a result, you get to know everyone in the process,” Hendricks said.

The closest friendship she has developed over the last four years is with fellow EMU diving teammate senior Andrew Saunders, who Hendricks said is always the one on the team to brighten everyone’s

“I like to keep everyone’s spirits up because I like to sing whatever is on the radio,” Saunders said.

When Hendricks isn’t busy training or keeping up with everything that school demands, she turns to television as a form of relaxation and said the shows “How I Met Your Mother” and “The Walking Dead” are her favorites.

Her favorite television character is Barney Stinson from “How I Met Your Mother.”

“I consider him to be the crazy one, but he is cool,” Hendricks said.

And television isn’t the only thing that helps her unwind—she loves music and said she can’t get enough of the American Top 40.

Hendricks’ favorite artist is the American independent rock band Fun.

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