Shawn Zhao, a 6-foot-7 middle blocker from Richmond, has signed with the Heat men’s volleyball program for the 2017-18 Canada West season.
Zhao began his volleyball career playing for two seasons in China, where his team finished second-best in a Beijing league.
For four years, Shawn played with Richmond’s Air Attack Volleyball Club, where he was named an all-star in 2017. He also has some familiarity with coach Brad Hudson when both were involved with Team B.C. for two years.
Asked why he chose UBC Okanagan, Zhao cited the Heat volleyball program and the campus’s reputation as a positive academic atmosphere. As a student, he plans to study in the sciences with an end goal of earning a master’s degree.
“Shawn is a terrific addition,” said Hudson, his future UBCO Heat coach. “He is very skilled and very smart. His club coach, Travis Mcclellan, is one of the best young coaches in our province and I’m certain he will have Shawn well prepared to make the transition to Canada West men’s volleyball.”
Zhao is one of two new middles looking to crack a spot in the Heat rotation this fall along with Caleb Funk.
Morgan Nichols and Lucas Robertson are both setters that will be new to the program, Max Heppell and Tristan Simmonds will join the club and play on the outside.
Zac Gotmy will check in as a libero to round out the recruiting class.