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Beyond the Baseline to hold free volleyball clinic for youth; former Clinton star Monique Harris hopes her story will inspire others to take part

Published: Jul. 30, 2021 at 1:47 AM CDT
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DAVENPORT, Iowa (KWQC) - Growing up in Iowa, former Clinton Volleyball star Monique Harris was often the only black player on her team, or one of very few.

“I didn’t really think too much of it because I was grateful enough to be able to play with players that didn’t make me feel any differently” said Harris.

After a stellar career at Iowa State, Monique’s cousin organized a team of all black players for the USA Volleyball Open National Championships. They called themselves Team Dream.

“It was honestly probably the best volleyball playing experience I’ve ever had”.

Team Dream dominated going 7-0 to win the championship

“It was just an amazing feeling to be able to know that there were so many African American little girls that were in the stands at that time for them to be able to see us do that it just felt amazing”.

For Harris, it was a crowning achievement following years of hard work. It wouldn’t have been possible without proper resources

“My parents, they did all that they could to be able to provide for me to be able to do what I did”.

It’s why Monique is advocating for a free volleyball clinic being held this August at Beyond the Baseline in Davenport.

I encourage everyone that’s down there in the Quad Cities and even here in Clinton to go to that camp, I mean, the more volleyball that you play, the better that you’ll be”.

Gary Thrapp is in charge of the free clinic which will provide coaching to girls in grades 3rd through 8th.

“What really hurts is when you have kids miss out on opportunities because they don’t have money, so we want to give all kids the opportunity to be the best that they can be and be superstars, you never know, every kid that walks in the door could be the next superstar and if you look at every kid like a superstar and treat them as such then that opens up opportunities” said Thrapp.

“I think that he’s doing an amazing thing to be able to provide that to the community and I don’t know why the community wouldn’t take advantage of it” said Harris

The former Team Dream star wants youth in the Quad Cities to dream big.

For more information about Beyond the Baseline and the volleyball camp, click here.

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