Dawson County High School Head Volleyball Coach Tanya Porter said Reinhardt University will be getting a great athlete but an “impeccable person” as she celebrated Kati Brady’s scholarship signing May 16.
“Kati has an enormous amount of compassion. She is selfless. Time and time again she’s proved that she’s selfless. She has a tremendous amount of empathy for her teammates, for her classmates, for her friends and family and to me that character is what’s going to take her a long way in life,” said Porter. “That’s a coach’s dream – to have the competitiveness, the perseverance and all of those skills wrapped up with a player who’s selfless and all about the team and all about other people receiving the glory.”
Brady, who received scholarship offers from Berry College and Reinhardt University, ultimately decided on the latter to stay close to home.
“I went to the campus and I visited and just really fell in love with the people there, the atmosphere and just everything about it,” said Brady.
But the Defensive Specialist wasn’t always a volleyball star. In fact, Brady has only been playing for the past two years when the program was getting its feet on the ground at the high school.
After being a lifelong basketball player, Brady wanted to try something new and never expected that volleyball would become her big passion.
“I originally didn’t know I was going to be this committed to it and love it this much but after I started playing over these past few years I just fell in love with the sport and especially my teammates,” said Brady. “They really helped me grow through it so that’s been really fun.”
While she was new to the sport and learning the ropes, Brady never let that stop her from becoming the best athlete she could be.
Porter said there were times that Brady wasn’t the most skilled player on the court but that there was nobody that would outwork her.
“She knew what her strengths were and she knew what her weaknesses were and she absolutely worked on her weaknesses because she wanted to be able to contribute,” Porter said.
The hard work paid off as Brady became the first athlete in Dawson County history to sign a volleyball scholarship.
“It’s amazing to have the first scholarshipped athlete in two years out of that program,” said DCHS Principal Richard Crumley. “Remember that it’s never too late to get involved and find something that you’re passionate about and put your efforts into those things and good things will happen for you.”
The young program has seen quite a bit of success in its short two years. Just this past year the team reached the first round of state playoffs after defeating rival Lumpkin County in a region tournament.
And at the program’s banquet in October 2017, Brady was named the defensive player of the year, averaging almost 8 digs a game and having a 91 percent service average.
Brady didn’t just earn a volleyball scholarship from Reinhardt, however; she also received an academic scholarship for her 4.2 GPA and a women’s leadership scholarship.
“It takes not only a family but with all the friends and the administration and all the coaches to have a student grow from elementary, middle and on into high school and once they take that next step to further their education and become a college athlete it takes everybody,” said Brady’s father, Kip.
Brady, who is set to graduate May 24, will be pursuing pre-med at Reinhardt in the fall. After she lost her grandfather two years ago shortly after he had open heart surgery, Brady plans to specialize in cardiac rehabilitation to help heart surgery patients recover after surgery.