Brandie Wilkerson

Brandie Wilkerson

BEACH VOLLEYBALL – TARGETING TOKYO 2020

2018 FIVB Best Blocker
2018 FIVB World Ranking – First Overall
2018 Tom Ng Award for Excellence Recipient
2018 FIVB Chetumal Open – Gold
2018 FIBA Las Vegas Platform 1440 – Gold
2018 FIVB Gstaad Major – Bronze
2018 FIVB Warsaw Open – Gold
2018 FIVB Ostrava Open – Silver
2018 FIVB Itapema Open – Bronze
CIS All-Canadian (2012, 2013)
OUA Rookie of the Year (2011)
Social Following: Instagram, 15,700

Born in Lausanne to a father who played for the NBA's Cleveland Cavaliers and a mother who's a three-time Ironman finisher, Brandie moved to Canada at just 7 years-old and blossomed into a promising athlete participating in basketball, soccer, and track and field before focusing on volleyball.

In her first year at York University she was recognized as the OUA Rookie of the Year and ended her indoor volleyball career as a CIS All-Canadian in both 2012 and 2013. 

Free-spirited and creative, she turned to beach volleyball after graduation and began to develop glimpses of the game that would make her one of the most formidable forces on the FIVB World Tour.

But the secret of her success is also in her soulful approach to life. She lives by a simple maxim that's tatooed on her back:

"She is clothed with strength and dignity and she laughs without fear of the future."

And at 5-foot-10, with an exceptional vertical, she's found a perfect balance with her new partner Heather Bansley – a three-time FIVB Defensive Player of the Year. 

The two first came together following Rio 2016 when Heather and her Olympic teammate Sarah Pavan decided to part ways and begin the search for different partners leading into the Swatch World Tour Finals in front of the hometown fans in Toronto.

When the event's promoter suggested that the past partners square off in a win-and-you're-in scenario, the match was set: Pavan vs Bansley.

In a one-sided win, Brandie's dominant blocking and Heather's defensive genius were the difference that led them into the main draw of the season-ending event.

More success followed for the newly-formed team of Bansley/Wilkerson with promising results in their first full season together in 2017.

It was also Brandie's first year in the FIVB World Tour's Main Draw where she battled through injuries and still managed to crack the Top 10 with a powerful belief in the potential of the partnership.

Then, in 2018, a breakthrough with back-to-back-to-back podiums.

First, there was a third-place finish at the Itapema Open in Brazil. Then a second-place finish at the Ostrava Open in the Czech Republic. And a week later, their first win as partners at the Warsaw Open in Poland.

They closed the season with four more podium finishes including wins in the final two events of the year and both Brandie and Heather earned top individual honours as the Best Blocker and Best Defensive Player of the Year.

Now, as the World Number 1, Brandie and Heather enter the 2019 FIVB Season and the Olympic qualification process with one-to-watch status as the early favourites.

Driven by an off-court friendship and another season of growth, it's clear that the two are playing for each other, and the rest of the beach volleyball world has taken notice.

And in Tokyo 2020, without fear of the future, they'll look to turn the strength of their partnership into gold for Canada.

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