DETROIT – All nine members of a club volleyball team in Detroit secured athletic scholarships to college despite the roadblocks created by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The players all had aspirations to play in college, but the pandemic made it difficult for anyone to workout in front of scouts.
It was a very turbulent year, but the whole traveling team secured athletic scholarships.
Coach Twon Davis had an idea years ago to use volleyball as a way to get girls, and now boys, to college. He said the sport isn’t that well-known in the inner city.
“Five years ago, a lot of athletes -- inner city girls -- were not getting the opportunity to get exposure,” Davis said. “The only way to get exposure is to put them on the road.”
Michelle Smith, of New Level Inc., a nonprofit dedicated to positioning student-athletes beyond college, helped Davis.
“What I found working with kids with Club Xtreme -- they needed more resources -- rides, support, equipment,” Smith said. “Also, life skills. Some had never flown or traveled. (We) put together a program learning today, learning tomorrow.”
In March, Club Xtreme won a tournament in Las Vegas, giving them video proof of their abilities to send to college coaches during the pandemic.
They clearly have what it takes to play at the next level, and that has opened many doors.
Club Xtreme Volleyball accepts players ages eight to 18. Davis said it’s best to stay early.
Help is offered to anyone who struggles with transportation or equipment.
You can hear from some of the players in Jamie Edmonds’ full video above.