Gabrielle Allyse Reece (born January
6, 1970) is an American professional volleyball player, sports announcer,
and fashion model.
Reece was born in La Jolla, California and raised in Saint Thomas, U.S.
Virgin Islands. She returned to the U.S. mainland for the eleventh grade,
when she took up sports. She accepted a volleyball scholarship from the
Florida State University, where she majored in communications, and in
volleyball she led the league in kills four times and blocks once. In
1989, she moved to model in New York City. In 1997, she was selected for
induction into the Florida State University Athletic Hall of Fame. Reece
set two school volleyball records in solo blocks (240) and total blocks
(747). Both records still stand. FSU inducted Reece into the Florida State
University Athletics Hall of Fame in 1997.
After graduation, Reece played on professional volleyball tours for
several years. That year, Reece's 4-man team took first place at the
first-ever Beach Volleyball World Championships staged at the UCLA Tennis
Center, in her fifth season as a team captain in the 4-person Women's
Beach Volleyball League (WBVL), and fourth captaining Team Nike, which
shared League Co-Championship.
For four consecutive years, Reece was the WBVL kills leader from
1993-1996. She was named the Offensive Player of the Year in 1994-95, and
the League blocks leader in 1993. She also competed domestically in the
1999-2000 Olympic Challenge Series, the 1999-2000 FIVB Beach Volleyball
World Tour, and other competitions.
Reece trained for four years hoping to make it onto the LPGA but was
unsuccessful. In 2009, she said, "... with young children, I simply didn't
have the time for such a demanding game".
Reece began her modeling career while attending FSU. In 1989 she was named
by Elle as one of the five most beautiful women in the world. She appeared
in several Elle layouts in the late 1980s and early 1990s. She has
appeared on the covers of Outside, Shape, Women's Sports & Fitness, Elle,
and Life. She appeared on the cover of Playboy, with an accompanying nude
pictorial, in January 2001. Reece had previously made a cameo appearance
as herself on the HBO series Arliss in which, ironically, she angrily
reprimanded her agent for even suggesting she accept an offer to pose nude
Reece co-wrote a book with Karen Karbo about her life as a pro athlete
entitled "Big Girl in the Middle," published by Crown (1997). She also
wrote a column for Conde Nast's magazine Women's Sports & Fitness, and has
been a contributing editor at ELLE magazine. For several years, Reece
hosted ESPN and NBC's "Gravity Games," where she participated in the
daredevil sports of road-luging, white water kayaking, drag racing,
surfing, sky diving, and more on "MTV Sports" (1993-95), and "The
Extremists with Gabrielle Reece"(1995-96). She was also a commentator at
the 1998 Goodwill Games.
Reece recently reunited with Nike as a spokeswoman, and she is a new
expert and writer for Yahoo-Health. Reece also produced an infomercial for
a health & fitness product, "The Primal System" with fitness expert Paul
Chek, and hosted a show for Fit Tv/Discovery, ‘Insider Training' where she
profiled professional athletes about their training & conditioning
In movies, Reece played the role of a physical trainer in the film Gattaca
(1997) and a pro beach volleyball player in "Cloud Nine" with Burt
Reynolds (in 2004). She guest-starred on North Shore (2004) and 8 Simple
Rules (2005). She appeared as a guest on Extreme Makeover Home Edition and
America's Next Top Model and The Tyra Banks Show. In 2007, Reece and her
husband Laird Hamilton, appeared in the ABC reality television series Fast
Cars and Superstars: The Gillette Young Guns Celebrity Race, featuring a
dozen celebrities in a stock car racing competition. In the first round of
competition, she matched up against the former NFL coach Bill Cowher and
the actor William Shatner.
In 2008, she released Gabrielle Reece: Fit & Healthy Prenatal Workouts
with exercise guru Mike Monroe. For 2008, Reece was the spokeswoman for
Simply Nutrilite, a line developed by Quixtar.
On November 30, 1997, Gabrielle married the Hawaiian big-wave surfer Laird
Hamilton. In January 2001, she filed for divorce. A year later they
reconciled. They have two children together: daughters Reece Viola
Hamilton (born in October 2003) and Brody Jo Hamilton (born on January 1,
2008 in Hawaii).