WELCOME TO RISE UP’S NEWEST NIL ATHLETE: GRACIE MERKLE!!
Bellarmine University’s Gracie Merkle is officially a Rise Up NIL athlete. The 6’6” Center is coming off an incredible freshman season. In fact, it was a season in which she was named the ASUN Freshman of the Year and was a unanimous selection for the ASUN All-Freshman Team. She also was named 2nd Team ASUN All-Conference after averaging a double-double throughout the season (15.1 PPG/11 RPG).
Merkle is no stranger to post-season accolades. When she played high school basketball at Bullitt East High School, she was named 6th Region Player of the Year twice and Bullitt County Player of the Year twice. She was a 3-time all-state selection as well, and she scored 1,000+ career points and grabbed 500+ career rebounds in just three Varsity seasons with the Lady Chargers.
After scoring nearly 500 points and grabbing 340 rebounds in her freshman season with the Knights, she’s on par to hit those marks once again at the collegiate level. On top of her 15.1 PPG and 11 RPG, she also averaged 2.3 blocks per game and 1 assist per game. Merkle led Bellarmine in all of the following categories: points, rebounds, blocks, field goal percentage, field goals made, free throws attempted, and free throws made. She set program records for field goal percentage and total rebounds grabbed.
The above accomplishments are almost incomprehensible for a player in their first season at a D-I school, but it doesn’t stop there. Merkle had the highest field goal percentage in the entire nation this past season after shooting 70.2% overall. Gracie Merkle showed the nation that she is a truly special talent and we cannot wait to see what her future brings.