Trial & Triumph: Ketia Swanier

From the first moment I met Ketia Swanier, I felt a connection. The daughter of military veterans, she showed a special confidence and self-worth. Her empathy and kindness toward others, was evident. Reluctant to “toot her own horn” she wanted to know about you, your life, and your interests.

You’d never guess she was a star basketball player in the state of Georgia, or that she’d received a four-year scholarship to one of the premier women’s basketball programs in the country-UConn, or that she’d played on a WNBA national championship team, the Phoenix Mercury.

Diana Taurasi gives instructions during the WNBA Championship run, while Smokey (left of Taurasi) and former Duke player, Grant Hill, look on.

Ketia was more inclined to mention the foundation she had set up, with the help of her parents, to offer financial scholarships to children of military veterans. The Ketia4Kidz Foundation, established in 2008, has given out more than $35.000.00 in aid to assist students in furthering their education. Through years of hard work and the fact she possessed the rare ability to get a full basketball scholarship. However, she was well aware that most weren’t as fortunate.

I had the privilege of being asked to write Ketia’s biography. Although I’d never attempted such a detailed task, I jumped in with both feet knowing I’d get all the assistance and cooperation I needed from the entire Swanier family. Memories provided by Ketia’s AAU family were also invaluable. When I interviewed Mike Green, her AAU coach for many years, his love and respect for Ketia, her talent, and her family, was infectious. So, too, with “Mr. Jim” Nichols, the owner and director of the Georgia Magic AAU basketball team.

Almost five years was spent interviewing, writing, gathering stats and information in order to see this project published and in print. I know it was well worth the effort and believe you will, too.



Ketia Swanier took resiliency and determination to a new level. The daughter of First Sergeants, Cornell (Smokey) and Rosie Swanier, learned, early on, the meaning of responsibility, adaptability, and heartbreak.

Through numerous moves in the United States and abroad, she developed skills that serve her throughout life. She shares those skills and difficulties so other military brats may learn from her mistakes and achievements.

Through a fierce love of basketball, she navigated “boys only” overseas basketball leagues, the US/AAU league, award-winning high school seasons, accepting a scholarship with the University of Connecticut, and winning a WNBA championship with the Phoenix Mercury.

Not satisfied with her own success, she established the Ketia4Kidz foundation that awards financial scholarships to help children of Army veterans reach their dreams and goals.

Ketia and her best buddy, Roman

Buy Trial and Triumph: The Story of A Military Brat – Ketia Swanier

Barnes & NobleAmazon, or your favorite online bookstore!

Also check out Ketia’s Brats Blog! Her way to connect with, not only children of military veterans, but all who want a safe place to land.

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