August cannot come fast enough for Kami Miner.
The Redondo Union High School senior and Stanford signee, considered one of the top 10 recruits in the Class of 2021, hasn’t played in a volleyball match in more than a year.
Miner decided against playing another year for Mizuno Long Beach VBC. The daughter of former NBA dunk champion Harold Miner has always played up in club ball. Living in Las Vegas, she played 16 Open in seventh grade and 17 Open in eighth grade. After the move to Southern California, she played 16 Open for Long Beach as a freshman, 17 Open as a sophomore and 18 Open last season until COVID-19 shut everything down.
“She’s played up for SO MANY years,” her father said. “All of her teammates have long been in college, including her USA Volleyball Girls Youth and Women’s Junior National teammates. Some of them are graduating from college this year!
Miner was hopeful of playing high school ball for Redondo, which would have been one of the best prep teams in the nation this year, but COVID had other ideas. The window for playing winter/spring matches in California closed a few days ago. Some CIF-Southern Section teams got in a few matches. Redondo, located in Los Angeles County, got none. LAC got approval for indoor sports only on March 19, one day before the last recognized date for teams to play.
“I try not to think about ‘what could have been’ too much, as there is nothing I can do,” said longtime Sea Hawk coach Tommy Chaffins. “I will say we would have been in the thick of things once again, competing for a CIF-SS D1 championship and a state title as well.”
So Miner, who would have been favored to capture Gatorade POY honors for the state (and in the mix for the national award), tries to keep herself busy while she’s in between teams. She does daily film study sessions of volleyball at the highest levels of the sport, which are intended to increase her already next level understanding of it. She’s been doing extensive private volleyball training throughout the fall and winter and also high level strength and conditioning training throughout the pandemic. She’s also waiting for USA Volleyball to restart, because she is one of 23 members of the USA U20 Women’s Junior National Training Team.
What Miner is doing will help make her better, but it cannot match the thrill of actual competition. That why she spends a lot of time thinking about August, when she’ll finally get to step on campus at Stanford and begin preparing to be a member of the Cardinal women’s volleyball team come fall.
“She says it seems like it’s taking SO LONG to finally play collegiate volleyball,” Harold Miner said. “She can’t wait to put on the Cardinal jersey. After all, Kami has been committed to the Stanford process since the 9th grade.”
Until then, she’ll watch film…and practice…and train…and condition. She might even go online for a virtual college graduation or two, as former teammates flip the tassel.