One year ago as a junior, it all seemed simple for Greenbrier East two-sport standout, Brooklynn Morgan.
College would be part of the plan after high school and she hoped it would involve playing basketball, the sport she had loved since a very young age.
As it turns out, Morgan will be attending college, but it won’t involve basketball.
Saturday morning, with family, friends and her coach in attendance, Morgan signed a Letter of Intent to play volleyball at West Virginia State next year.
“It is amazing to have all of my family and friends around. It is so surreal,” Morgan said.
Needless to say, the decision to play volleyball at the next level came as a bit of shocker. It even came as somewhat of a surprise to Morgan herself.
“At the beginning of the summer, I was going to play basketball. All I did was go to basketball camps,” Morgan said. “I have played basketball since second or third grade. In eighth grade, I used to have private sessions with (former head) coach (Dave) Barksdale from Woodrow (Wilson). Every Sunday I was up in Beckley, working with him to get better.”
This past August, it all changed for Morgan when volleyball season started.
“I had gotten a lot stronger because I had been in the weight room all summer. When I started volleyball, I felt better and I had so much more fun playing volleyball,” Morgan said.
Having fun and playing college volleyball were still miles apart. However, the opportunity to play for the Yellow Jackets came about as quick as the decision to play volleyball as opposed to basketball.
“Nobody really knew me as a volleyball player because I had wanted basketball. I ask (Greenbrier East head coach) Matt (Sauvage) to call West Virginia State,” Morgan said. “Coach Kris Kern emailed me to setup a date to come up there. He basically told me, if I wanted to play, to play with them. I had another official visit and then I signed.”
Morgan’s visit to the campus sealed the deal for her.
“I love it there. Kris Kern is a great coach and he is about winning. The community there is so tight. The dorms are amazing and the food is good. That was a big part,” Morgan said, smiling. “I went to a few of their games and the athletes really support each other. The men’s basketball team was there yelling for the volleyball team.”
When Morgan arrived at Greenbrier East two years ago, Sauvage knew she was a basketball player. It didn’t take long before he realized he also had a solid volleyball player.
“As the season went along last year, I realized that we had a special player. I had to move her to the outside this year, but she was a really good middle blocker last year,” Sauvage said. “Her athleticism is crazy. She was able to bring that in and figure out how to use it for volleyball. The biggest thing is her competitive fire. You add her competitive fire with her athleticism and it changes everything. She wanted to win every time she was on the court and you can’t teach that.”
Morgan admitted giving up basketball was rough, but she knew her time would be better spent on the volleyball court to be successful in college.
“Everything needs to get better. I am playing travel volleyball for (coach Kern) now. I will be up there a lot really soon. Our first game is Jan. 15 at Music City in Nashville,” Morgan said. “It was tough decision for sure, but it’s was worth it and I am comfortable with the decision.”
In 322 sets played at Greenbrier East, Morgan recorded 792 kills and 76 blocks. She also had 68 aces and 217 digs.
Sunday afternoon, Morgan will close out her high school career as a member of the South team in the North-South Senior All-Star Game at Woodrow Wilson.