Spelman College, one of the most reputable colleges in the nation (and arguably the top HBCU) is looking to add Gabby Douglas to their list of notable alumnae.
TMZ reports that the school president even flew to London to get a leg up on the competition.
We’ve learned Spelman — an all-girl college in Georgia — wants Gabby in a bad way and sources at the University tell us the Team USA gymnastics superstar has become the number 1 recruit by far.
In fact, the President of Spelman, Beverly Daniel Tatum, went out to London and made sure Gabby got a Spelman gift bag containing a congratulatory note, school t-shirt and a CD containing a song produced by the college.
Tatum also released a statement to TMZ in which she acknowledges the school would LOVE to get its hands on the gold medal winner:
“A young woman who has demonstrated the drive and discipline needed to achieve world-class excellence is likely to have what it takes to be successful at Spelman, and we would welcome her interest in the college.”
It’s not clear where Gabby is in her high school studies. Most recently, she was being homeschooled by her host family in Iowa. She’s sixteen, so she may be nearing completion. However, it’s doubtful that college is at the top of her list of things to do any time soon.
Now, that she’s done with the Olympics, she is reportedly going back to her hometown of Virginia Beach to visit for the first time since she left in 2010. But, she’s not there to stay. The 40-city Kelloggs’ Tour of Gymnastics Champions begins Sept. 8 and though she won’t make every appearance, she’ll be at most of them. Not to mention that for the next four years, her calendar will likely be flooded with appearances, speaking engagements, and endorsement deals. “The Flying Squirrel” or “Golden Gabby” (as she likes to be called) is already seeing dollar signs. While still in London, Desmoines Register reports that she told the media:
People were like, ‘Gabby’s going to smile all the way to the bank.’ I remember reading that, and I’m like, ‘Oh, my God, I have to stop. I’m going to foam at the mouth with all this money,’
I just have to learn how to save it and control myself. “I wasn’t the richest kid on the block and my family struggled a little bit. We went through some very tough times. … But I’m so happy that I stuck with it and can bring my family out of the financial situations.”
Everyone says it’s not going to hit me until I go home and see all these parades, posters, pictures of me. “They said it’s going to be really crazy, but just enjoy it because it’s going to go by so fast. You’ve got to seize the moment.
I’m so ready for it.
ABC says that it’s estimated the Olympic golden girl could bring in up to $10 million in endorsements over the next few years.
Gabbulous also isn’t ruling out another trip to the Olympics in 2016. Apparently, Dominique Dawes is the only gymnast in recent history to have done back-to-back Olympic Games (1992, 1996 and 2000). So, a return is not common, but Gabby says:
I’m not going to count that out just yet, because I’m still young and still fresh and my body’s still good. So, if all goes well, you’ll be seeing more of me.
Evidently, with her plans of enjoying the perks of being an overnight celebrity and possibly training for another run at the Olympics, Gabby doesn’t seem to be considering college. In fact, the only formal schooling Gabby has mentioned in the past few days is driver’s school. She says wants an Acura NSX, but needs to study for her driver’s license first.
We have to hand it to Beverly Tatum though for having the forethought to pursue Gabby for Spelman immediately. After her third trip to the Olympics, Dominique Dawes graduated from University of Maryland, College Park, so Olympic gymnasts going to college is not unheard of. Gabby may decide to go to college too, whether in the near future or a decade or so down the line, and Spelman already has their name in the hat.
What do you think of Spelman attempting to recruit Gabby Douglas?
Follow Alissa on Twitter @AlissaInPink
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