ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) When Bailey Larson entered the Rockford Park District hockey program when she was three years old, she had one goal in mind: go pro. While there was no league when she was just a kid, that did not stop her from achieving her dream.
Last week, the National Women's Hockey League held its annual draft and with the 10th pick, the Boston Pride chose the Belvidere North grad.
In her three and a half seasons at Colgate University in New York, Larson has 40 goals and 65 assists and helped take the Raiders to last year's Frozen Four, which was also the school's first postseason appearance.
She says she is excited to continue her playing career in Boston after hopefully winning a national title.
"Growing up here in Rockford, I was actually looking through my kindergarten books and it was like, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" said Larson. "And I said, "a professional hockey player" and at that time there was nothing for girls besides the Olympics so within recent years it's been really cool to see this opportunity arise. It's definitely been a dream of mine and lately I've identified that I wanted to play in Boston and it was cool that that could become a reality as well."
Larson says when she was a kid in the Rockford Park District program, she was only one of three girls and getting the chance to come back and lead camps gives her hope for the future.
"There are so many talented girls here and just to know because you're not a boy and you don't have the NHL, there are still opportunities," Larson said. "In the next 10 years I'm really excited to see where women's hockey goes and I think it's important for them to know that there is something to work for and that they can all achieve it too. I'm thankful especially for Rockford which did a lot for me growing up and definitely turning me into the player that I am. It's just cool to look back and see all of your hard work pay off and the opportunities that I now have."