GLENDALE — For a pair of basketball players, earning All-CIF volleyball honors is certainly impressive.
And when Rebels volleyball Coach Sean Beattie describes Edmund Chow and Kenyatta Smith, he doesn't hesitate to admit that it was on another court that they were familiar with when they began their days at Flintridge Prep.
"Let's be honest, they don't touch a volleyball until volleyball season," said Beattie, whose team shared the Prep League title and advanced to the second round of the CIF Southern Section Division V playoffs. "They're basketball through and through."
They've also proven to be standout all-around athletes through and through, which was further exemplified on Monday as both were announced as All-CIF Division V selections, with Chow, a senior, notching a second-team honor and Smith, a junior, garnering third-team accolades.
"It means a lot to me, particularly since volleyball wasn't something I came into [Flintridge Prep knowing how to play]," said Chow, who like Smith did not play his first volleyball season until his freshman year with the Rebels. "It wasn't something I thought I'd be good
But he certainly became good at it, a feat all the more impressive considering he was a libero for most of his time at Prep before becoming an outside hitter this season.
"A 5-9 player isn't typically gonna be an All-CIF outside hitter," Beattie said. "To come out and just play as hard and with as much success as he did at a new position I thought was just amazing."
Chow had a team-high 221 digs and also had 211 kills.
"Over the years, I've learned how to play," Chow said, "how to pass and eventually how to hit."
As a junior, Chow was also an All-CIF basketball player.
Smith was able to accomplish the impressive feat in his junior year alone, as the volleyball honor follows one in the winter for basketball.
"Yatta was just solid all year long," Beattie said. "He's got a lot better at recognizing what he's supposed to do."
Obviously, being a dominant physical specimen and an all-round athlete has helped his cause.
As a middle blocker he notched team-highs of 221 kills and 101 blocks as a middle blocker and he's still got another season to improve.
"I think he'll be a force to be reckoned with his senior year as a basketball player and a volleyball player," Chow said.
One other area player was bestowed All-CIF recognition as Burroughs High junior setter Tyler Yanez was a Division II third-team selection.