Written by: Amanda Szylin
Height must run in the family for retired NBA player Shawn Bradley. The seven and a half foot center had two daughters playing in the 2014 AAU Girls’ Junior National Volleyball Championships, Charity and Chelsea. Chelsea is the older daughter at 17 and measures in at 6’1 while her younger sister, Charity (15) stands at an impressive 6’3. Both girls play with Club V Volleyball out of Utah, Chelsea with Club V 17 Graboids and Charity with Club V 16 Impact. Bradley says he loves coming to this event for several reasons.
“This is a great event here in Orlando. The AAU does a wonderful job of bringing in thousands of kids,” said Bradley. “One of the things I like about it is, if you’re in the top 10, you know you’re here to win. But if you’re not in the top ten, the opportunity for these girls to get exposure to many different colleges and universities is excellent.”
Chelsea, who plays middle, helped her team reach the Championship bracket in the 17 Premier division. Unfortunately, they fell in the first round to the Carolina Islanders, who would later become the runners-up in the division.
Charity, an outside hitter, and her team reached the 16 Premier Royal Division bracket and started out Championship day with a bye in the first round. They defeated Tribe 16 Rox Graham in three sets (20-25, 25-10, 15-4) to move on to the Championship Game versus Club West Temecula 16 National. They also fell, becoming the runners-up in the 16 Premier Royal Division.
Bradley says he loves coming to the event but he also is a huge fan of the AAU, crediting the organization for his successful basketball career. Bradley played center for the Philadelphia 76ers, New Jersey Nets and the Dallas Mavericks. When deciding who his daughters would play volleyball for, there wasn’t much of a contest.
“We chose AAU because it’s a good organization and they get a lot of exposure and because it’s available,” Bradley said. “They’re available everywhere. That’s one thing that’s great about AAU, you can play it no matter where you are.”
Both Charity and Chelsea plan on playing volleyball in college, but neither has decided where they will be going. One thing is for sure, they’re on their way to a very bright future.
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