Eastern athletes copy flight patterns of past Eagles

Eastern athletes copy flight patterns of past Eagles

Sophomore Parker Kelly attended Gonzaga Prep before coming to play basketball at Eastern. Kelly’s father had his No. 44 basketball jersey retired by Gonzaga Prep. According to goeags.com, Kelly’s father then went on to play at Washington State University, where he led the team to the NCAA tournament in 1980.

“They have his jersey retired at [Gonzaga] Prep, so I’d walk by that everyday, and it’s motivation,” Kelly said. “It’s a great honor to have a father like that.”

Kelly said that it was his father who first got him started with sports. The first sport Kelly started was golf, which he played, along with basketball, until his freshman year of high school.

“There came to be a point where I had to choose which sport I wanted to play full-time, and that came at my freshman year of high school,” Kelly said. “I felt like my passion was for basketball.”

Since then, Kelly said his father has been a big supportive influence on his basketball career. According to Kelly, his father motivates him to do his best and does not put any unnecessary pressure on his performance.

“If I’m struggling with something that’s a part of my game and I feel like it’s not really working out the way I saw it, then I can go to him and I can ask him, ‘What did you do in this situation? How did you handle this?’ He will explain to me, and I will take his words of advice and use it to my advantage,” Kelly said.

Senior football player Drew Reynolds also looks up to a family member in the same way as Kelly. Drew Reynolds’ older brother, Levi Reynolds, also played football at EWU. The two brothers were able to play on the same team for a couple of years.

“He played defense and I play offense, so we even got to go against each other sometimes. I usually beat him,” Drew Reynolds said.

Although Drew Reynolds enjoyed playing with his brother, he mainly looks up to Levi Reynolds because of his academic success. Levi Reynolds graduated with a cumulative 3.8 GPA in a biology major. “I’m not the greatest student, but he just thrives at that, and that’s something I look up to,” Drew Reynolds said.

Like Drew Reynolds, sophomore distance runner Nathan Fall also has siblings at EWU. Fall is a quadruplet and also has two younger identical twin sisters.

All six Fall children attend Eastern, but Fall is the only one involved in athletics. Before this current generation of Eagles, Fall’s mom, two aunts and three uncles also attended EWU.

“My parents were open to [me] going anywhere to college, but it just happened to be Eastern since I know I wanted to stay close to home for free room and board,” Fall said.

Although Fall has five siblings on campus, he said he rarely ever sees them unless they all happen to be home together at the same time. He also said they are very encouraging to him in his athletic pursuits.

“My parents and my siblings come and watch me at my races sometimes. It’s nice to have that family support and to have them cheer me on,” Fall said.