Posted On: 01/3/19 12:08 PM
What started as some friendly banter at a 12s National game this past summer between Iowa Select Volleyball Club and Lloy Ball’s daughter’s team out of Indiana turned into a Lloy Ball camp being held at Iowa Select over Christmas break for athletes and coaches from across the region.
Frank Flanagan, Club Director at Iowa Select out of the Quad Cities, talked about the connection made last summer at nationals and how it progressed into a camp held at their facility December 28 and 29 which featured a coaches clinic as well as a camp for all athletes.
Let’s back up a little bit and describe the significance of Lloy Ball being in the gym. Men’s volleyball in the United States may not be the most viewed, their athletes may not have the major shoe contracts, or a fantasy football/volleyball league, but when it comes to big names in the game of volleyball, Lloy Ball may be the most recognizable from the accolades on the court as well as the fire and intensity he plays with. Ball is a four time Olympian and a gold medalist from the US Men’s National Team from the 2008 Beijing Olympics as well as the International Hall of Fame in 2015.
“Lloy comes from a similar background to a lot of these athletes in our area. He is so down to earth, gives back to the game of volleyball, and really is an example of how to carry yourself,” said Flanagan.
Giving back is a common theme in volleyball, with plenty of former athletes and coaches who stay with the game to coach or present at clinics. For Ball, he grew up in Indiana where boys volleyball wasn’t even a sport while he was in high school. In Iowa, boys volleyball is on the rise with the Iowa Region High Performance Team winning Gold at the HP Championships in Tulsa in July.
For Iowa Select, they field a boys team for 13 and Under as well as 18 and Under.
Ball wasn’t the only elite setter in the gym. Monique Harris, the former Clinton High School star and four year player for Iowa State is now coaching at Iowa Select.
“When we break into positionals, Monique takes all the setters,” said Flanagan. “She is such a great role model for our athletes because she has worked for everything she has earned.”
Iowa Select will be kicking off their club season with a USA Schedule that will feature multiple qualifiers as well as an appearance at the Iowa Regionals and hosting in the new Tour of Iowa!