SANTA CLARA, Calif. – A pair of standout Santa Clara men's water polo players are taking their game to the professional ranks in Europe.
After completing their eligibility this past season, starters Will Grant and Graham McClone have decided to continue their playing careers in France. Both signed contracts to join FNC Douai, one of nine teams in the Ligue Promotionnelle de Water Polo.
McClone led the team in goals (58), assists, (33), steals (38), and kickouts drawn (54) during his final season with the Broncos. He ended his career ranked sixth all-time in goals, third in assists, fifth in steals, and tied for fifth in earned ejections.
McClone displayed enthusiasm about continuing his career in France.
"I am very excited to continue playing my favorite sport, I am looking forward to exploring a new country and sharing this with Will Grant will be a lot of fun," McClone stated. "I'm very thankful to Coach (Keith) Wilbur and Coach (Claire) Linney for all of their tireless work into Santa Clara's water polo program and for helping me reach a point from which continuing to play professionally became a possibility, and I'm beyond thankful for my parents and their constant effort to help me all along the way."
During his fifth season with the Broncos, Grant started all 26 games he played and ranked third on the team in both goals (30) and kickouts drawn (47). He also tallied six assists and 18 steals in 2016 and ended his career tied for fifth all-time in earned ejections.
Grant expressed gratitude for his time at Santa Clara and optimism for his future.
"I am extremely honored and excited to be joining FNC Douai for the upcoming season," said Grant. "To be able to continue my water polo career, especially with a fellow Bronco, is truly a dream come true. I would not have been able to reach this goal without the continuous support of my teammates, Coach Wilbur and Coach Linney, and the entire Santa Clara athletic department. I am very much looking forward to what the future holds in France."
The league runs from October through May, with each team playing a total of 16 matches. FNC Douai finished sixth in 2016-17 and hopes to improve next season by adding Grant and McClone.
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