DALEVILLE, Va. – In the world of Class 3 volleyball and girls basketball, Lord Botetourt has taken the cake the past few years. It seems the successes of one team spills over into the other thanks to the crossover in players both sports have.
One of those being senior Miette Veldman.
“I saw Miette first when she was a 7th grader,” head basketball coach Renee Favaro said. “We had heard a lot about how good the middle school was, but coach (Chuck) Pound and I hadn’t heard about Miette. We went over there and I remember the two of us looked at each other and said, ‘who the heck is that?’”
At 5′10, she was an essential outside hitter for the Cavaliers in their three state championships during her four years of high school. As All-District, Region, and State honors poured in, so did a scholarship offer from James Madison University.
But volleyball and basketball have gone hand-in-hand for Veldman, and she’s had success on both courts.
“She’s in four 1,000 point clubs here, two in volleyball and two in basketball,” Favaro said.
Veldman has had 1,000 kills and 1,000 digs in volleyball and 1,000 points and 1,000 rebounds in basketball.
“I think I hit it a lot earlier than what I thought, I didn’t really expect it and didn’t really look out for it,” Veldman said. "It just helps being surrounded by such good people that help me get passes."
One of those people is teammate Kenleigh Gunter, who has been playing sports with Veldman for nearly a decade.
“We have been playing together since we were probably around 10 years old,” Gunter said. “I know the first time I picked up a volleyball was definitely because of her and her sister, so I’m glad that happened because I wouldn’t be where I am now.”
“I think a lot of it is, I have a lot of people around me that have really believed in me and I think that’s really helped me with my high school career,” Veldman said. “My sister played with me my freshman and sophomore year, and we had a lot of the same goals. With basketball I had people around me who always wanted the best in me and needed the best in me, so, I think people like that have really just kept me going and kept me motivated.”
And you could definitely say the time spent for two high school coaches sitting in the bleachers scouting at a middle school basketball game was well worth it.
“We knew when she was in the 7th grade, before she even knew our names, that she was going to be special,” Favaro said. “I don’t think we knew she was this special, but she really is, she has something that I will never see again.”