The question of turning pro is a natural one to ask of Katie Ledecky, given her international accolades and endemic celebrity.
Ledecky, whose collegiate stardom and professional prospects might best be compared to at least that of former Cal Golden Bear Missy Franklin‘s, has not implied that she will be going pro after her sophomore year as Franklin did. In her interview after Stanford won the 2018 NCAA D1 National Championship Saturday night, Ledecky emphasized that she’s focused on school for the time being and hasn’t given much thought to what the future might hold beyond this semester (or quarter, rather).
“I have a final exam on Monday — that’s about as far into the future as I’m looking,” she said. “I’m trying to stay in the present, and right now the present is that we just won a national championship. And I’m going to enjoy that.”
The move to turn professional is a hotly- and oft-debated subject on our site. Though many factors are surely in-play, it’s notable that Ledecky’s family has a history of Ivy League-level education, and her academic aspirations and success are no secret.
If this was Ledecky’s final meet in the NCAA, she’d end her career as an 8-time NCAA champion, 10-time All-American, seven-time Pac-12 champion, was the 2017 Honda Cup Award Winner, earned 2017 CSCAA Scholar All-America honors, and was the 2017 Pac-12 Swimming Newcomer of the Year. She was the first NCAA swimmer in 29 years to capture individual event titles in the 200, 500 and 1650 freestyles at a single NCAA Championships (2017), and has broken American records 10 times, NCAA records 13 times and NCAA meet records four times since she began in at Stanford in 2016.