GV graduate Vormelker invited to basketball combine in Vegas

Grand Valley graduate Jess Vormelker takes a shot while playing for Thiel College during the 2018-19 season. Vormelker has been invited to the 2019 Women’s International Showcase in Las Vegas July 12-13. Scouts from across the world are expected to be in attendance to elavuate games, go through seminar training, conduct interviews and scout among other aspects.

Jess Vormelker's basketball playing days may not quite be finished.

The Grand Valley graduate has been invited to the 2019 Women's International Showcase in Las Vegas next month. The camp includes three to four full evaluated games, seminar training, interviews, scouting reports, an individual filmed workout and combine testing drills.

"I'm still in shock," she said. "I received an email from a coach in Sweden, inviting me to the combine."

Scouts from all over the world are expected to be in attendance. The showcase is scheduled to take place July 12-13 at the Tarkanian Basketball Academy.

"I daydream all the time of making it over there," Vormelker said of playing in Europe. "I glorify everything with God."

Vormelker, a 2019 all-American player at Division III Thiel College, participated in the InsiderExposure Pro Combine in early April in Tampa, which was also the site of the Division I Women's Final Four.

She said the combine was a great learning experience.

"I was supposed to play three games, but I ended up only playing two because I got a bloody nose," Vormelker said. "It was a hard atmosphere to play in. I was sprinting back on defense and trying to be a leader."

Vormelker returned to the county and received the Ashtabula County Basketball Foundation Alumni Achievement Award at the Hall of Fame banquet right the combine in Tampa.

"It was very humbling," she said. "There are so many great student-athletes. The foundation does a great job. I feel blessed to have received it."

Vormelker, who was also student-teaching, graduated from Thiel in May. She's been working out in Orwell Township, going through personal workouts and playing basketball.

"I've been working out and training with a guy at Thiel (Mark Batt) a few times a week and lifting," Vormelker said. "I've been shooting at Grand Valley when I can."

Vormelker has been applying for graduate school and assistant coaching positions and has an interview at Waynesburg State.

But the pursuit of playing professional basketball is always in the back of her mind.

"I'm blessed with parents who are supportive of me chasing my dream," Vormelker said.

Vormelker is encouraging county student-athletes, especially girls, to dream big.

"For those who don't think you're good enough, go 150 percent," she said. "Surround yourself with people who encourage and support you."

Vormelker has already thought about the combine in Vegas and what it will take to set herself apart.

"I talked to my college coach (Rob Clune) and he said shoot the ball a lot," she said. "In Tampa, I played more reserved. I need to catch the eye of the people watching me and chuck up more long 3-pointers. 

"Another big difference is going in with the mindset I can play with these girls and belong there."

Whether competitive basketball is in Vormelker's future, she knows she has the continuous support of her family, including parents, Steve and Kelley and siblings, Jordan, Josh and Jake.

"My family is truly my biggest supporter," she said. "Growing up with three older brother was amazing and I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. I am truly blessed."