Jacyn Bamis has lived a lot of places in her life already. South Carolina is the next stop.
The Gonzaga Prep junior, a first-team All-Greater Spokane League selection in the fall, recently orally committed to Clemson.
“It all happened so fast,” Bamis said. “So at the moment I was taken aback and very nervous and excited for what the future would hold. So I was just very excited for that.”
“She’s just a fun kid to be around,” G-Prep coach Jill Benson said. “Always asking, and always trying to just be better. ‘What can I do, what can I do for the team?’ ”
Bamis’ family moved to Spokane from France before she was born. She and her twin sister, Jayme, were born here, then the family moved to Spain for a while before their mother brought the kids back to Spokane. She has only been playing volleyball for roughly four years and will still just be 17 when she graduates high school.
“I started maybe when I was like 12 or so,” she said. “I wasn’t taking it seriously until I was like, 14, where I was like, ‘Oh, I really want to do this for my future.’ ”
Athletic prowess runs in the family. Bamis’ brother, Jack, was an all-league football player at G-Prep and played running back and linebacker at Idaho.
“He is super-encouraging and pushes her in a good way,” Benson said. “He’s been there, done that, and so that’s super helpful.”
Bamis took the call from Clemson in Benson’s office at school.
“I was blown away with how she handled herself,” Benson said. “Just her maturity level and knowing she’s younger than what you think she is.”
It took the right circumstances for Bamis to garner the attention of the ACC school.
Bamis was with her club team, College Preparatory Academy, at a tournament in Atlanta when she first attracted the eyes of the Clemson staff. That led to an in-person workout for the Tigers.
“They came out for a look-see,” CPA coach Wade Benson said. “The head coach flew out solo, which doesn’t happen that often.”
Benson, the former Eastern Washington volleyball coach, said Bamis’ workout wasn’t the greatest that day, but Clemson saw a diamond waiting for some polish.
“She has a lot of upside still left, she’s not even close to her ceiling,” Benson said. “So there are a lot of reasons why you couldn’t look into this and say like, ‘Hey, this is kid you want take a chance on.”
She was part of the CPA Xtreme 16 Elite that placed second in the 16 Open division – the highest division in Junior USA Volleyball – at the Las Vegas Classic in February, which qualified the team for the now-canceled 2020 USA Volleyball Junior Nationals.
“The sky’s the ceiling for her,” Benson said. “She certainly has shown the ability to improve quickly.”