Best College Player - 2013
The 5-foot-10 Michael Brinkley from Edison High School in Huntington Beach entered his junior year as a veteran on the UC Irvine men's volleyball team, which has won the past two national championships and four of the past seven. The libero position is that of a defensive specialist in indoor volleyball, one who must wear a different-colored shirt than his/her teammates and cannot serve, block or hit shots above the net; s/he is there to make digs and keep rallies alive. For his efforts as a sophomore Anteater, Brinkley earned Volleyball Magazine All-American second-team honors. He posted a career-high 15 kills in the 2012 NCAA semifinals and that season averaged 2.07 digs per set, as well as digs in double-digits seven times. An undeclared major, Brinkley was All-CIF at Edison, the Best Defensive Player three times and thrice a first-team All-Sunset League selection. He also played for the Balboa Bay Volleyball Club; was a Junior Olympics Gold Medalist in 15s, 16s and 18s; and served as a 2011 Junior National Team alternate. On the sand, Brinkley has an AA Men's Rating as a beach player.