A kid named B.K.

How a local Georgetown volleyball player became a highly sought recruit.

By Nenad Djuric
Four years ago, a shy Georgetown boy walked into the gym at Mississauga Secondary School looking to play some volleyball. He signed up to play in a house league with the Pakmen Volleyball Club, after his coach, Meaghan O’Brien, at Christ the King Catholic S.S. in Georgetown recommended he consider playing club volleyball because “it was obvious he enjoyed it so much.” The boy was not a natural at the sport, nor did he show any indication of extraordinary talent, he was just a kid who wanted to get better at volleyball.

He worked hard, and at the insistence of his house league coach, he tried out for the Pakmen 15U rep team and made it. He started off the year on the bench, but put in the necessary work to be able to contribute in games and towards the end of the season, he was named a starter.

At 16U he started to distance himself, in terms of technical ability, from other players in the province. He improved at such a rapid rate, that when word around the Ontario Volleyball Association (OVA) spread, university coaches around the province started to take notice. He led his team to an undefeated season and 16U Provincial and National championships. The September-born was only 15 years old when he was named an All Star at the 17U Provincial Championships.

By the end of the 17U season, the once average house leaguer was suiting up for the Team Ontario 18U provincial team. He was selected as a middle blocker, with talk he could make the Junior National Team the following year.

Before the start of his final youth volleyball season, Kelly Smith, his rep coach, insisted that the Georgetowner play left side instead of middle. It was supposed to be a trial run to see if he could handle the stress of passing and hitting. The rest is history.

Today, the former unknown Georgetown volleyball player is known around the OVA by only his initials, B.K.. Brandon Koppers is finishing out his 18U season as floor captain and outside hitter for the top-rated Pakmen Volleyball Club. At six-foot seven inches, the high reaching hard-hitting former middle blocker has coaches salivating over his seemingly limitless potential.

In the past six months alone, he went from a player most coaches would like to have on their university teams to a player you could build a team around. He received multiple full scholarship offers from Division 1 NCAA schools while competing in the United States but he declined them all electing to go to university and play volleyball in Ontario next year. Brandon remains uncommitted to any university program at this time, but that shouldn’t last too long. He was recently nominated for funding in the OVA’s Quest for Gold Athlete Assistance Program, a program that, as the name describes, provides funding to athletes to remain committed to high performance volleyball while fulfilling their educational goals.

B.K. has made an incredible impact in his Georgetown high school and Georgetown community as a whole. “When we walk into other schools’ gyms, I am always immediately asked about him, he’s known and recognized everywhere” comments O’Brien. Her coaching parter at Christ the King, Carla Favero, adds, “His love and appreciation for the game of volleyball has been demonstrated and encouraged for so many of the Christ the King community, whether it be teachers, students, or coaches.”

“I think BK is a nasty player, every time he goes up for a hit I feel sorry for the other team” laughs Pakmen teammate Nathan Murdock, who is also a Provincial team player. Shaunik Pandit is a standout for the Pakmen U16 who admires B.K. as a player and a person: “… he’s an extraordinary player who is fun to train with … I learn just by watching him … and he’s a really funny guy too.”

Whether he’s training or watching younger teams practice, you can always hear whispers and murmurs from the future generations of players wanting to be like B.K. And why not want to be like B.K.? In his short career he has proven that if you like something, and you work hard at it, then success is inevitable.

B.K. himself is unsure of where his love for the sport of volleyball will lead him next fall, or what role he will have on his future team. History does have a way of repeating itself, and the Halton Hills native could go from just a kid on the team who some might be unsure of, to a player you couldn’t fathom not having on your roster.

Volleyball will take B.K. away from Georgetown, leaving his mother, father and two younger brothers behind as he attempts to reach his goals of being an Olympian, and further more playing professionally. Though few doubt him, most know that upon his return he will be greeted with a hero’s welcome, as more and more kids will be drawn to the sport of volleyball in hopes of having a fraction of the success as that kid named B.K.