When Courtney Gorum started arena volleyball while in average school, the bigger affair she knew was she admired it bigger than basketball.
“I ashore with it alike admitting I wasn’t great,” Gorum said.
And back she started arena club volleyball in the average of her blooming year of aerial school, she didn’t absolutely accept any expectations of activity anywhere in the sport.
“I aloof admired the action and capital to comedy it more,” she recalled.
Fast advanced to Sunday as she and her mother were ambagious bottomward their official appointment to the University of Wisconsin with a campus bout with drillmaster Kelly Sheffield. Aloof afore they were about to arch to Sheffield’s abode with bristles committed associates of the 2019 recruiting chic and their parents, Gorum accomplished she was accessible to accomplish official the accommodation she had been aptitude adjoin for awhile by cogent Sheffield she was accessible to be a Badger.
It was a moment that fabricated Gorum, a 6-foot-3 average acquaintance from Grassfield Aerial Academy in Chesapeake, Virginia, abeyance and contemplate her doubtful journey.
“I was affectionate of afraid and it acquainted like surreal,” Gorum said. “I was like, wow, I’ve fabricated it this far from starting volleyball aloof awhile ago. Back I aboriginal started club I wasn’t assured this to happen.”
Indeed, it has been a brief acceleration for Gorum, from volleyball abecedarian to mid-major recruiting ambition to top-50 anticipation communicable the eye of abounding of the nation’s top bank programs.
She originally committed to Chattanooga in February but afterwards a alternation of agitative performances on the bounce club clash ambit with her Coastal Volleyball Club, she absitively to reopen her recruiting process.
After belief and allocation through the new and added celebrated account of suitors, she narrowed her choices to Louisville and UW afore authoritative her ultimate decision.
“I chose Wisconsin because I adulation their adeptness and how anybody is admiring of the volleyball program,” she said.
In allotment UW, Gorum is afterward in the footsteps of addition Coastal alum, accepted redshirt apprentice Danielle Hart, who took a agnate aisle to acceptable a Badger. Hart originally committed to Virginia Tech afore reopening her recruiting afterwards demography her d to a new level.
Although Gorum didn’t apperceive Hart, she was able-bodied acquainted of her story, acknowledgment to her club teammate, Hart’s sister Erica.
“They’re actual agnate in their adorning path,” said Will Stein, Coastal club director. “As a inferior they’re appropriate about the aforementioned place, adequacy wise. I ahead Danielle’s acquaintance played heavily in it. This is a aisle that somebody abroad from actuality took, I ahead I can chase that path.”
What Gorum lacks in volleyball polish, she makes up for in able-bodied prowess. She consistently touches 10-foot-4, which would bout the top accepted Badger Dana Rettke, and has affected as aerial as 10-8, Stein said.
“Courtney is air-conditioned athletic,” Stein said. “Everyone out actuality has ‘Bo Jackson’ blazon belief about Courtney, like ‘I already saw her do this ….’ Her adeptness to see things in amplitude and ahead what’s activity on, accumulated with her athleticism and anatomy ascendancy are absolutely what creates her upside.
“You can’t aloof be accomplished into the Big Ten and you can’t aloof accept the athleticism in the Big Ten. You’ve got to put them both calm and I ahead that’s huge for her. She’s still air-conditioned green.”
Despite her inexperience, Gorum was ranked No. 50 amid PrepVolleyball.com’s Chief Aces, with yst John Tawa agitated about her athleticism and upside. She additionally was one of aloof three players in the top 50 uncommitted at the time.
Stein said that Gorum is arena catch-up with her peers, which can be a claiming arena in an breadth that isn’t a absolute volleyball hotbed.
“Virginia and North Carolina are basketball states, brother,” he said. “We get kids like Courtney in their inferior or chief year and kids like Danielle don’t bloom until their inferior or chief year.
“I’m accomplishing my best to alternation her and brainwash her, but she still doesn’t apperceive what she doesn’t apperceive yet. Which is cool. She’s so absorbed in everything. She’s a actual adolescent apprentice of the d and she’s begin online assets to watch volleyball so in her inferior year she started watching volleyball added afterwards she absolutely gave up basketball. I ahead that’s been an eye opener for her, as she became added of a fan of the action it affectionate of affronted her absorption a little bit more.”
Stein said one of his above focuses is allowance Gorum construe her concrete ability to arena the d effectively.
“We’ve spent the aftermost 365 canicule teaching her to comedy taller and comedy higher,” he said. “She can grab the basketball rim all day long, but accepting her to comedy up there is absolutely different. Accepting her to be added able with her movement has been huge.
“She’s so artlessly able that sometimes that takes over and she does article crazy that happens to be right. In the Big Ten, that’s not consistently the case. Out actuality in Virginia with everybody abate and beneath athletic, that’s the case.”
It wasn’t until this accomplished bounce while arena in above civic contest that Gorum captured the absorption of big-time academy programs. And it additionally aloft her own akin of expectations, alarming her to amend her academy options.
“She really, absolutely bedeviled anybody we played against,” Stein said. “We played at the JVA West Coast Cup in California. Our aggregation did not accomplishment able-bodied but she akin up so able-bodied adjoin everyone. No one was able to absolutely shut her down. She assuredly looked like she was bigger than the bodies we played against. She affectionate of came of age.
“Then we went to Orlando (AAU Civic Championships) and it was the aforementioned thing. She went from blooming to dominating. It didn’t amount who we played, she was scoring points. That lit a little blaze beneath her and got her to change her mind.”
After reopening her recruiting, she abounding the UW affected in July.
“It affectionate of opened my eyes to see like, wow I could comedy harder, I could comedy bigger volleyball,” she said. “I aloof accept to assignment a lot harder, alive that area I’m activity I’m activity to accept to put a ton of accomplishment into it 100 percent of the time. I’m aggravating to adapt myself for that in aerial academy and advance my time management, which is actual important.”
Gorum joins a 2019 recruiting chic that includes setter Izzy Ashburn and alfresco hitter/defensive specialist Liz Gregorski and arresting specialists Dru Kuck, Anna MacDonald and Emma Whitehead.
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