Why Mendelson is a prime talent for Nebraska
Maggie Mendelson is one of the rare young volleyball stars who is starting to make waves in 2021. The star is playing two sports at the same time, which makes her a special talent that Nebraska has been dreaming of over the years.
Maggie made a promise and committed to Nebraska, but she will play both volleyball and basketball for the Huskers next fall. That is a rare case for a player that wants to shine in both games, and it may soon lead to some struggles and schedule problems.
While there has to be some give and take between the programs so they won’t overuse her body, adding Maggie to any of the squads is a huge win for them in the long run. Maggie has played for the USA youth national team in both sports.
In volleyball, Maggie plays as a middle blocker and was named as the no. 2 national recruit. In basketball, she is placed as the no. 32 prospect among hundreds of players. That says a lot about her value for both sports.
Maggie can shine in volleyball
It will be a few years until fans can see how good Maggie is. That may even come at different times for each sport, but the rising star is thrilled to be a part of the volleyball team - which is known as one of the best in NCAA.
For volleyball coach John Cook, having Maggie in the roster is a huge boost for her chances to thrive with one of the leading teams in the league.
‘I think she’s good enough to start for both of us’, Cook said. ‘I’ve told her we’re not recruiting her to come in here and redshirt, or have her sit the bench. We want her because she has a chance to start’.
Maggie is athletic for a player at the age of 16. She is tall enough to be a reliable blocker for the team as well, which makes her a good pick in any spot. This is the reason why Cook wants her to play for the team.
‘That’s the first thing I told her’, the coach said. ‘I said, “I know you’re a great athlete and great player, but you are an elite competitor.” And that’s what I want you to bring to Nebraska volleyball.Think about it, she’s 6-4 and she’s an elite basketball player and elite volleyball player. So obviously she’s a good athlete. She can move, she has great vision’.
Nebraska has a need for young stars
Nebraska has reached an elite level in sports, and so did Maggie. Her competitive nature bodes well for the team at this point and that says a lot about her future. The Huskers have thrived well in their games thanks to a flurry of stars who rose from the lower ranks.
Cook believes that Maggie is the best star they can get in the long run. This means a lot for the team as they aim to change their game and turn Maggie into one of the best stars who have a chance to get a big break.
‘I flew to Salt Lake and was there the very opening morning of a club tournament she was playing in’, Cook said. ‘She’s a special talent. She’s a multi-sport athlete, which we love here’.
The future is bright for Maggie, and her success in volleyball makes her a strong athlete who can make history in the coming years as a top star.
Words: Paul Daniel Flores