Seven Big 12 Players Selected in Pro Volleyball Federation Draft

Seven Big 12 student-athletes were selected in the inaugural Pro Volleyball Federation draft, the second-highest total of any league. The PVF will kick off its debut season on Jan. 2, 2024.Texas’ Asjia O’Neal was taken with the first overall pick by the Columbus Fury. O’Neal has helped lead the Longhorns to the NCAA National Semifinals and guided UT to its league-record seventh-consecutive Big 12 volleyball title. She ranks fourth all-time in league history with 538 block assists and sixth with 594 career blocks.BYU was one of five schools with multiple players chosen as Whitney Bower and Kamaile Hiapo were drafted by the Atlanta Vibe. Bower led the Cougars with 980 assists on the year while becoming BYU’s rally-scoring era assists leader with 4,583 in her five-year career. Hiapo led the Cougars with 277 digs during the season and was second on the team with 162 assists.UCF’s Abby Hansen (Omaha Supernovas), Houston’s Kenna Sauer (Grand Rapids Rise), Kansas’ Reagan Cooper (Columbus Fury) and K-State’s Sydney Bolding (Grand Rapids Rise) rounded out the Conference’s selections.The league currently consists of seven teams: Atlanta Vibe, Columbus Fury, Grand Rapids Rise, Omaha Supernova, Orlando Valkyries, San Diego Mojo and an unnamed team in Las Vegas. The league will also add teams in Dallas, Kansas City and Indianapolis in 2025.The teams will play a 24-match schedule culminating in a four-team championship weekend in mid-May with two semifinal matches before the title contest.A player drafted needed to be at least 18 years or older on the day of the draft and defined as a college player. Athletes who met these criteria were eligible to be drafted. Players were not required to declare for the draft and anyone drafted may elect to return to college (if she has remaining eligibility) should she choose not to sign with her Pro Volleyball Federation team.The league has multiple professional athlete and celebrity backers, including three-time Olympic Gold Medalist Kerri Walsh Jennings, volleyball superstars Dr. Cecile Reynaud, Laurie Corbelli and Jenna Rosenthal, Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow, Super Bowl champion Trent Dilfer and singer Jason Derulo.Pro Volleyball Federation Big 12 Draft PicksFirst RoundPick (Overall)1 (1) Asjia O’Neal, Texas – Columbus FurySecond Round2 (9) Whitney Bower, BYU – Atlanta Vibe4 (11) Sydney Bolding, K-State – Grand Rapids Rise7 (14) Reagan Cooper, Kansas – Columbus FuryThird Round4 (18) Kenna Sauer, Houston – Grand Rapids Rise6 (20) Kamaile Hiapo, BYU – Atlanta Vibe7 (21) Abby Hansen, UCF – Omaha Supernovas*(Hansen traded to Orlando after selection)