AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - A state title is every high school athlete’s dream, but not everyone can accomplish the feat in their four years. For Randall Raiders volleyball star Tatum Brandt, it’s been a winding journey to the mountain top.
“I’ve gone through two ACL reconstructions.” Brandt said. “It was sophomore year when I had the surgery going into my junior year, so I think having to sit on the sidelines and see the court from a different perspective allows me to see it better on the court.”
Brandt’s work ethic never wavered, recovering from the injury and returning to the court as a setter at the end of her junior season. However, Brandt had her sights set on a different position.
“With Taylor Ervin graduating last year, she was my libero, we sat in this office at the end and Tatum told me, ‘I’m going to be your libero next year and I’m going to get it done for you.’” Coach Burns said. “Since that moment she has worked incredibly hard and that passion to just tell me that’s what’s going to happen, I’m going to do this for you, she’s been the epitome of what I want my program to stand for and to be about.”
Tatum’s inspiring tale doesn’t end when she steps off the court. Her intellect is second to none.
“It’s kind of scary how smart she is.” Coach Burns said. “I tell everybody all the time she’s going to be a doctor, she’s going to be taking caring of us one day.”
“I’m a really competitive person and my brother is really successful in the special forces and the military.” Brandt said. “My sister’s really successful in special olympics. So, I want to go and hopefully be an orthopedic surgeon one day.”
Not only did that competitive spirit help bring Brandt back to the court, but it helped her bring the raiders a state championship. It takes a special player to do something like that. You might even say, it takes a GOAT.
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