Best of the Beach
California native Brooke Weiner spent her childhood within earshot of the Pacific Ocean. Growing up in Ventura, Calif., where her father built surfboards for a living, she passed the time on the beach playing volleyball.
After a successful beach volleyball career in high school, she set her sights on the East Coast, hoping to expand her horizons.
“I immediately fell in love with Georgia State and the city of Atlanta,” Weiner said.
When moving across the country, Weiner’s biggest worry was not knowing anyone, but to her surprise, she instantly felt welcomed.
“Coach Beth (Van Fleet) has such a warm heart,” Weiner said. “She always has us over for dinner and became a second mom to me. Everyone from the team has been amazing, too. We all come from different places, but we come together to make a family.”
“To me, Brooke embodies joy and grit. She loves competing and thrives under pressure,” said Van Fleet (B.B.A. ’99). “She developed a strong voice and presence over her four years here while putting the good of the team above her own needs.”
Weiner’s parents remained by her side from across the country as some of her biggest fans. She’s a first-generation student, so her parents made sure to encourage her studies just as much as her athletics.
They have also consistently found ways to see her games. During her freshman year, Weiner had told her mom she didn’t have to come to her preseason tournament. When she noticed other moms were coming, she changed her mind.
“I mentioned that I wanted her there, and she booked a flight within the hour,” Weiner said.
Weiner’s time at Georgia State saw tremendous successes.
She broke the university’s all-time volleyball record for most career wins with 92 and received the American Volleyball Coaches Association Top Flight Award in 2018 and 2019.
“I definitely feel blessed to have played in such a phenomenal program and attended such a great university,” Weiner said.
Weiner’s next step is moving back to California where she hopes to put her marketing degree to work in real estate.
Photo by Steven Thackston