Divas who played sports before they wrestled

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June 12, 2013

Nikki Bella

Sport: Soccer

Team: Grossmont College Griffins; El Cajon, CA

Playing Days: “When I was a junior in high school, I was asked to play with Arizona State University. They needed players in one of their big college games, and I actually got to play as sweeper for a half. I had a four-year plan for college, but I only played for one year as a sweeper due to injury. I snapped my leg in half. I was Player of the Year in my region as a freshman.”

Professional Aspirations: “Before I signed with WWE, I was thinking of moving to Italy and playing in their women’s league. But even before I broke my leg, I was going to play for The Heatwave — a pro team in Arizona — and hoping to try out for the World Cup team after college.”

Best Advice From a Coach: “My coach was the one who totally gave me my sense of commitment, making me goal-driven. He encouraged us to always go after what we wanted. I feel like that’s the way I’ve lived my life because of my coach; whatever I want, I go after it.”

Soccer vs. WWE: “There are definitely similarities, especially with your footing. When I came to WWE and started to learn how to wrestle and move around the ring, I realized that everything I learned in soccer as a defender helped me between the ropes. I never tripped over my feet. All those drills about keeping myself balanced totally, totally helped.”

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