Fanshawe recruits Canada Youth volleyball athlete James Pratt
Credit: FANSHAWE ATHLETICS
Fanshawe College welcomes James Pratt, recent recruit for the 18U Canada Youth National Team to the Fanshawe Falcons volleyball team.
Pratt, was recently recruited onto the 18U Canada Youth National Team from July 24 to 28.
Following this he will travel to Tulsa, Oklahoma for the USA Volleyball High Performance Championships.
Patrick Johnston, the Fanshawe men's volleyball head coach, expressed his excitement to have Pratt as a part of the OCAA team.
“His size and athleticism make him pretty relevant in our league…typically guys take a little bit of time to get up to speed, but I don't think he's going to need to do that and he'll be able to contribute right away,” Johnston said.
Pratt who has been playing club volleyball for only two years was blown away by the support he received from the Canada Youth Team.
“For them to actually reach out and tell me that they want me on their team, I was really surprised [and] also honored,” Pratt said.
Johnston shared that Pratt's time with the Canada Youth Team is an excellent opportunity for him to grow as an athlete and bring what he learns to Fanshawe in September.
“That's exciting for me, selfishly, that he gets to go there and get great training from great coaches all summer,” Johnston said.
Pratt has a connection to the Fanshawe athletic department through the Men's Volleyball assistant coach, Jeff Millar. “He went to Uxbridge secondary school and he trained and helped coach our team there…That's how I got introduced to the name of Fanshawe,” Pratt said.
Pratt then became acquainted with Johnston through a volleyball camp he attended for two years, which played a role in his decision to attend Fanshawe.
“The next year I went [to the camp, Johnston] called me out by name and he said…‘just keep Fanshawe open,' and I found it really warming for him to…want to actually work with this player who didn't really have great technical skills,” Pratt said.
Having worked with Pratt in the past, Fanshawe men's volleyball assistant coach, Jeff Miller, shared how glad he was to get to work with him again.
“He has a tremendous amount of potential, and he is one of the hardest working kids I have ever coached,” said Miller. “He will bring a level of dedication and daily discipline that will be matched by very few athletes, to our program and I expect that he will bring his natural positive energy to our gym every day.”
In addition to a connection with the coaches, the quality of Fanshawe's athletics department and the type of athletes the school produces, also encouraged Pratt to enroll.
“I believe that Fanshawe does a great job of ensuring that athletes prioritize their academics over their athletics, and that has helped every program graduate more athletes and build better student athletes” Miller said. “Probably just as important,” said Johnston, ‘is that our results at nationals last year really helped get us on the national map again and got James excited to come our way.”
Pratt and the coaches are looking forward to getting started on what is certain to be an eventful year for the Fanshawe Falcons. “I'm so excited to be able to use the massive gym that's there and [to] meet other athletes that are just starting out in the sport as well,” Prat shared.
Miller has nothing, but high hopes for Pratt's involvement at Fanshawe.
“I fully expect that he will bring the work rate that he has had all of his life to our volleyball program, to his academic program, and to the community at large in London”.
Johnston said he enjoys watching all the new athletes find their place in the athletics department and this year will be no exception.
“We've got a lot of new bodies, more than any other year…it's anybody's game and this will be by far our most talented roster and our deepest. So, it [will be] exciting to see who takes the reins,” Pratt said.