Volleyverse / Players / Gabrielle Reece
United States
Beach Volleyball



Gabrielle Reece is a American icon marked by excellence in professional volleyball, modeling and fitness advocacy.




La Jolla


6 January 1970
Gabby Reece

Gabrielle ‘Gabby’ Reece is a true icon of fitness and athleticism. Her life story is one of perseverance, dedication, and achievement. Born in California in 1970, Gabrielle grew up in a family that valued sports and healthy living. This early exposure to an active lifestyle would ultimately pave the way for a career marked by excellence in professional volleyball, modeling, and fitness advocacy.

Early Life and Introduction to Sports

Family Background and Childhood

Gabrielle Reece’s parents were both athletes themselves. Her father was a professional surfer, and her mother was a collegiate swimmer. Gabrielle’s parents were both very active, and they instilled the importance of health and fitness in her from a young age. Her father would often take her surfing with him, and her mother would take her to the pool to swim laps. Gabrielle grew up in a household where being active was the norm, and she quickly developed a love for sports.

Discovering Volleyball and Athletic Potential

Gabby’s natural athletic abilities were apparent from an early age. She was always running, jumping, and climbing, and she loved to compete. When she was eleven years old, she discovered volleyball and immediately fell in love with the sport. She joined a local club team and began to hone her skills. Gabrielle quickly showed promise as both an attacker and a blocker, and her coaches took notice.

By the time she reached high school, Gabrielle was already being recruited by several top-notch college programs. She was a standout player on her high school team, and she led them to multiple championships. Gabby’s size, strength, and athleticism made her a force to be reckoned with on the court, and she quickly became one of the top volleyball players in the country.

Collegiate Volleyball Career

After graduating from high school, Gabrielle accepted a scholarship to play volleyball at Florida State University. She continued to excel on the court, and she helped lead the Seminoles to several NCAA tournament appearances. Gabby’s success on the court led to opportunities off the court as well. She began modeling and acting, and she quickly became a sought-after spokesperson for various health and fitness brands.

Standout Performances at Florida State University

Gabrielle accepted a scholarship to attend Florida State University, where she continued to excel on the volleyball court. Her combination of height, strength, and agility made her a dominant force at the net. She was named an All-American three times and led her team to a Final Four appearance in 1989.

While Gabby’s athletic achievements are certainly impressive, she also thrived academically during her time at Florida State. She graduated with a degree in communications and was later inducted into the university’s Sports Hall of Fame.

Professional Volleyball and Modeling Career

After college, Gabrielle went on to play professional volleyball in both the United States and Europe. She also continued to model and act, and she appeared in several movies and television shows. Gabby’s success in multiple arenas made her a role model for young women everywhere, and she continues to inspire others to this day.

Transitioning to the Pro Beach Volleyball Circuit

After college, Gabrielle made a successful transition to professional beach volleyball. She played on the AVP tour for several years, earning numerous titles and earning a reputation as one of the toughest competitors in the sport.

Striking a Balance Between Sports and Modeling

In addition to her success on the volleyball court, Gabrielle also made a name for herself as a model. She appeared in numerous publications, including the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue.

At times, Gabrielle struggled to balance her competing career aspirations. In an interview with Shape magazine, she admitted that “I felt like I was a sellout for being a model.” However, she ultimately embraced both sides of her career and has used her platform to promote important messages about body image and fitness.

Fitness and Health Advocacy

Becoming a Fitness Icon

Over the years, Gabrielle has become a household name in the fitness world. She has authored several books on exercise and healthy living, and has popularized her own signature workout program. She is also a frequent guest on talk shows and has appeared in a number of fitness-related documentaries.

Workout Programs and Books

Gabby’s fitness philosophy emphasizes a balanced, whole-body approach to exercise. Her workouts include a mix of weight training, cardio, and flexibility exercises. She has also published several books on fitness, including “Big Time Health and Fitness for Women,” and “My Foot Is Too Big for the Glass Slipper: A Guide to the Less Than Perfect Life.”

Promoting a Healthy Lifestyle

Throughout her career, Gabrielle has been a vocal advocate for healthy living. She has spoken out against restrictive diets and fad fitness trends, and instead promotes a sustainable, long-term approach to wellness. She also gives back to the community through her work with the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation, which uses sports to promote social change around the world.

Personal Life and Family

Marriage to Laird Hamilton

Gabrielle married big-wave surfer Laird Hamilton in 1997, and the couple has since become known for their shared love of extreme sports and adventure. They have two daughters together and are often spotted paddle-boarding, surfing, or working out together.

Motherhood and Raising Athletic Children

As a mother, Gabrielle has passed on her love of sports and healthy living to her daughters. She encourages them to be active, but also emphasizes the importance of balance and self-care. In an interview with Parents magazine, she said that “kids need to be creative and learn through play. But they also need to learn that exercise and healthy food are part of that play.”

Philanthropy and Giving Back

In addition to her work with the Laureus Foundation, Gabrielle is involved with a number of other charitable organizations, including the Breast Cancer Research Foundation and the Surfrider Foundation. She is passionate about using her platform to effect positive change and inspire others to live healthy, active lives.


Gabrielle Reece’s life story is one of extraordinary achievement and dedication to the pursuit of athletic, professional, and personal excellence. Throughout her career, she has shown that with hard work and discipline, anything is possible. Her legacy as a fitness icon, pro volleyball player, and advocate for healthy living will continue to inspire generations to come.

Gabby Reece FAQs

If you haven’t found the information on Gabby Reece that you were looking for check out the commonly asked questions about her below.

How old is Gabby Reece?

Gabrielle was born in 1970 and is 53 years old.

How tall is Gabby Reece?

Gabrielle is 191cm / 6’3″ tall. Her height combined with her natural athletic ability made her a natural volleyball player.

Who is Gabby Reece married to?

Gabrielle married big-wave surfer Laird Hamilton in 1997, and the couple has since become known for their shared love of extreme sports and adventure. They have two daughters together and are often spotted paddle-boarding, surfing, or working out together.

Where does Gabby Reece live?

The Hamilton-Reece household divides their time between two gorgeous locations: Hawaii and Malibu, California. In Malibu, they are a part of the famous “Malibu Mob” – a clique of A-list celebrities who also happen to be their close friends and neighbors.

Did Gabby Reece go to the Olympics?

Whilst Gabrielle was played successfully at college and on the AVP Tour she did not play at the Olympic Games, with beach volleyball not being a part of the main games until 1996.

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