When you watch Emoni Bush play, you certainly wouldn’t be able to tell she’s the youngest player on the court for the Wave Volleyball Club’s 17U team.
After all, the 14 year-old outside hitter stands six-foot-three can often be seen hammering the ball into to the floor of the opposition, or providing stellar defence with her big blocks.
But Bush hasn’t always been this comfortable on the court, and still smiles ear-to-ear when thinking back to three years ago when she was talked into leaving the soccer pitch for the volleyball court by a few of her friends.
“It was really nerve wracking because all my friends had been playing for a really long time and they were so good,” said Bush, recalling her first time trying out for a Club volleyball team. “I couldn’t really do anything, I was only tall, so from there, I’ve been working hard to build the other skills.”
From there, she would move on to Carihi Secondary School’s senior girls team as an eighth-grader.
“My first game in Grade 8 and I was sitting on the bench and the team we were playing was quite a bit taller, so they needed a blocker,” Bush recalled. “So I got in for a couple rotations and I made a big block – that’s what made me love the sport.”
And the work she’s put in over the past few years has certainly paid off this year, with Bush being named one of 12 girls to win a Volleyball BC 17U Club All-star Award.
“It was a bit shocking because I didn’t really know much about it, but I’m proud of myself for accomplishing it.”
But the honours shouldn’t be that shocking when you see who’s on the bench coaching the Wave Volleyball Club’s 17U team.
Wave 17U coach Chris Berglund, used to be Volleyball BC’s technical director, with his main job role being overseeing the Team BC program. In his time developing athletes, Berglund has seen more than a few move on to represent Canada internationally or star at the postsecondary level.
“She pushes herself a lot and she knows where she wants to get to and she demands that of herself,” Berglund said. “But she also understands that other people have different goals and she tries to foster what other people’s goals are as well, no matter what their skill levels are like.”
And while Berglund was hesitant to compare Bush to anyone he’s seen move on to play for Canada, he did call her a ‘blue-chip’ prospect who has a bright future ahead of her.
“The majority of players that I’ve coached who have gone on to the National Team were all gifted in their own ways, but she’s got a little bit different factor in her,” Berglund said. “Probable the closest comparable is a Shanice Marcelle because they have similar physical gifts… but Enomi is a little more energized on the court.”
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