Former Michigan State gymnast making name for herself in WWE

Michigan State University and the WWE have a major connection right now, and that is former a Spartan Gymnast. Lea Mitchell spent many years as a part of the Spartan Gymnastics team, but now finds herself as one of the new rising stars in professional wrestling.
Nick King/Lansing State Journal / USA

Michigan State Gymnastics has been on a roll from winning Big Ten championships to putting out talent, and one former alum is making a name for herself as a part of World Wrestling Entertainment.

Lea Mitchell better known under her WWE in-ring name Kelani Jordan has been making some noise on the development brand NXT.

Mitchell, who spent over five seasons at Michigan State as part of the gymnastics team from 2018-2022, turned her successful Spartan career into a shot of a lifetime when she traveled to Nashville in 2022 for a WWE tryout at SummerSlam.

The Spartan alum has always showcased her athletic ability, and that was enough for the WWE to sign her following a successful tryout. That has become a common way for the industry to find new talent by seeking out athletes of different backgrounds at the collegiate level and giving them a future opportunity.

That opportunity has quickly become something special for Mitchell (Jordan).

Mitchell debuted in 2023 and has quickly climbed the ladder as one of the top young female superstars. That all paid off this week, as she partook in a ladder match at NXT Battleground in Las Vegas for the Inaugural NXT Women's North American Championship.

She outlasted six other very worthy opponents, but was able to climb the ladder and grab the title.

Mitchell's historic moment was felt throughout Spartan Nation, as Michigan State Gymnastics retweeted a video of her standing atop the ladder holding the championship on its X page.

It was a great moment for Mitchell, and to see it as a fellow Spartan alum is a great feeling. It doesn't happen very often, but Mitchell proved she belongs in the WWE, and It's great to know she's a Spartan through and through.

Congratulations Lea, keep repping the green and white.