CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — For the first time in her career, Kate Thurman will be able to wear her school’s jersey when she suits up for the University of Connecticut this fall.
“If you love something and you really have a passion for it, anything is possible,” Thurman said.
Without a hockey program at Centennial, she spent more than 15 hours in the car each week, playing with the Chicago Young Americans–one of the most elite girls’ hockey programs in the state. It helped her sign with the UConn women’s hockey team, after committing her sophomore year.
It was all made possible by her brothers, who introduced her to the sport, and of course her parents’ support.
“I was a giant family sacrifice, I would say that half of my success is due to my parents sacrifices for me, we’re in the car like at least three times a week going to and from Chicago,” Thurman said. It was definitely hard for me just being a high schooler, but I defiantly wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world”
“Our parents have been awesome,” her brother Grant Thurman said. “They’ve always supported us, taking us, travelling with us. There are sometimes where they have to drop one of us off at the ice rink and go to another ice rink where it was crazy throughout.”
As Kate prepares for her freshman season at UConn, the challenges still aren’t over. The only ice rink in Champaign is closed for the summer, so she’s missing an important part of her summer training: the ice.
“I do try and make up for that with lifting and conditioning and all that stuff so I do feel like at a bit of a disadvantage, but I just do what I can to make up for it,” she said.
Kate still travels to Chicago once a week so she can train on the ice. But as she’s proven her entire career, it’s that the obstacles ahead of her won’t stop her from reaching her goals.