Newmarket volleyball player Logan King once could not imagine playing for Team Canada.
The 16-year-old Newmarket High School student has earned a place on the country’s national excellence program and a spot to compete at the U19 World Championships in Hungary next month.
“It’s so crazy to me,” King said. “If you were to ask me three years ago if I ever thought I’d be in this position, I would definitely say no. I’m so grateful. It’s so amazing.”
King will be playing for the Canadian Jr. National Team Aug. 1 to 11. After that, she will continue on as part of the national program, getting training and support in line with the senior women’s national team.
Volleyball is a sport that King has loved since she was young, starting at age nine. Seeing her family already play the sport at a high level naturally made King take it up.
“Even before I started playing myself, I was around it so much, it kind of felt like a natural progression,” she said. “I love volleyball so much, and love the community around volleyball … It’s such an amazing way to see the world, and it’s such an amazing way to meet people.”
Her mother, Sarah Little, played volleyball at American and Canadian universities. Little said athletics is a big part of her family, with Logan's father, Lorne King, a former Canadian Football League player.
“We’re just so proud of her,” Little said. “Being able to balance school and also all the time commitments volleyball takes, and being away from her family for long periods of time. She’s just really always said yes to all the opportunities … She’s very brave for taking on some of the things she’s done.”
After developing her skills with the Aurora Storm volleyball club, she has moved on to compete for the Pakmen U18 elite team from Mississauga, which finished third at nationals in May 2023.
But the pandemic shutdowns stalled her progression for two years, something she has worked to overcome.
“Everything kind of stopped,” she said. “It made me a little bit behind, but I think with the programs, I’m really grateful to have been able to make up for some of those missed steps.”
The U19 national team going to Hungary will feature players that King said she has played alongside before.
“I love the coaches, I love the players, it’s such a cool experience to go out and be able to see another country through this, through playing a sport,” King said.
The young star is in Grade 11 but has had inquiries from multiple Division 1 schools in the NCAA, Little said.
King said she wants to go as far as the sport will take her.
Having a love for what you are doing is a big part of improving, she said.
“I joined volleyball because it was my life. I loved it,” she said. “As you know more and more people, you are more into the sport community, you naturally come across more opportunities to get better.”