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Mar 12, 2022

From Making Threes to Calling Threes

From Making Threes to Calling Threes

Kelly Gramlich’s blossoming broadcasting career really got off the ground because of an argument. That will surprise most who know Gramlich because she has a pleasant and affable personality.

The Clemson women’s basketball three-year letterman (2011-14) was working as a graduate assistant under myself in the Clemson SID office and she got into an argument with former Clemson SID student and graduate assistant William Qualkinbush, who was just starting his own blossoming broadcasting career at WCCP radio in Clemson.

“We were in Jeff Kallin’s office and Qualk and I got into an argument about NBA basketball,” said Gramlich with a smile. “We were going back and forth making our points and Jeff jumped in. ‘You two should do this on the radio.’”

“Jeff continued to encourage me to go over to WCCP. He thought I had a future in broadcasting. So, I went over there and did an internship. Some people left and when a position opened working with Qualk, I got the job.”

The Noon to 3:00 p.m. window has become must-listen programing over the last three years. It is a program that obviously centers on Clemson athletics, but Qualk and Kelly have shown their knowledge in all sports, college and professional.

“I grew up in a household in Austin, Texas that loved sports,” said Gramlich. “ESPN was the channel that we watched the most. I grew up watching SportsCenter.”

Gramlich could have been called a child prodigy. She remembers writing a short paper about the 1999 college basketball National Championship game – in kindergarten.

Kelly’s mom played college tennis at Duke. For a time she was the No. 1 player on the Duke team and played against Clemson. Her dad went to school at the University of Oklahoma. “My dad always says, ‘Mom played tennis for Duke and I drank beer for Oklahoma,’” said Kelly with a laugh.

It is obvious that she gets her love of sports from both sides of the family, but her interest in Clemson, from way out in Texas, goes back to her mother being an ACC athlete.

“I followed the ACC because my mom went to Duke, so when I was being recruited for basketball in high school I really wanted to play in the ACC.”

Gramlich was one of the top three-point shooters in the state of Texas. In fact, she led the state at the 5A level in three-point goals her junior year. That shooting ability also goes back to her family.

“My brother played for St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas and is still among their top scorers in history. When we were growing up, we played one-on-one basketball at a hoop at the end of our driveway. Every Saturday morning we played one-on-one to 100 points.

“Well, I couldn’t jump over him or beat him off the dribble, so I shot a lot of threes to try to keep up.”

So that is the back story of how Kelly Gramlich became one of Clemson’s best shooters. A check to SID Megan Barnes’s Clemson women’s basketball media guide shows that not only is Gramlich still the only Clemson women’s basketball player to make eight three-point goals in a game, she is still the only one to make seven.

She did so in consecutive games. The eight made threes on December 14, 2013 vs. South Carolina State and the seven at UNLV on December 19, 2013. Gramlich is still fifth in school history in total three-point goals made with 166. Women’s basketball has had the three-point goal since 1986-87.

Now Gramlich calls Clemson three-point goals as the color commentator or play-by-play (she has done two games this year by herself) on Clemson women’s basketball. She is seen and heard on ACC Network Extra via ESPN broadcasts or just heard on the radio broadcasts on the JMI Clemson Tigers Network. She has also done 15 Clemson men’s games on ACC Network Extra the last couple of years with Pete Yanity, Fred Cunningham and Don Munson.

The sky is the limit for Gramlich’s career as opportunities will continue with the launch of the ACC Network in August.

“All the opportunities I have gotten have been the result of the Clemson family believing in me and giving me. From Jeff Kallin to Rick Bagby to William Qualkinbush, I wouldn’t be where I am without their support.”