Dual Sport Star Signs to Play Volleyball and Basketball for Nebraska

Nebraska head volleyball coach John Cook and head women’s basketball coach Amy Williams have announced the signing of Maggie Mendelson, a dual-sport standout who inked her National Letter of Intent on Monday.

The 6-5 Mendelson is the only recruit in the country who is a member of the U.S. youth national teams in both volleyball and basketball. She will graduate a year early from Fremont High School in North Ogden, Utah, to join the Husker programs in 2022.

“I chose Nebraska because of the relationship I have built with the coaches,” Mendelson said. “They believe I can play both sports, and I appreciate the tradition of those programs at Nebraska.”

On the volleyball court, the middle blocker was ranked the nation’s No. 2 recruit in the 2023 class by Prep Volleyball before reclassifying. She competed with Team USA at the FIVB U18 World Championships in September, where the Americans finished third. A starting middle alongside fellow NU signee Bekka Allick, Mendelson finished with nine kills, three blocks and two aces in the bronze-medal match.

At Fremont High School, she has lettered three years for coach Jantzen Smith and passed the 1,000 career kills milestone in just two and a half years. In 2021, Mendelson totaled 407 kills on .294 hitting with 59 aces and has earned third-team AVCA All-America and first-team All-Region 1 honors.

As a sophomore, Mendelson was an outside hitter who helped her team to a third-place finish in the state tournament and a Region 1 championship. She had 417 kills on .312 hitting and earned 6A first-team all-state recognition by the Deseret News, Region 1 Most Valuable Player and All-Area MVP by the Standard-Examiner for the second straight year.

A standout freshman season saw Mendelson hit .387 for the Region 1 champion Silverwolves while finishing with 369 kills and 101 blocks. She was a top-20 finalist for Prep Volleyball’s National Freshman of the Year and earned a spot on the publication’s special mention list for high school All-Americans. In July 2020, Prep Volleyball slotted her No. 2 on its Top 150 list.

Mendelson also has been named to the 25 Underclassmen to Watch List (2021) by Volleyball Magazine, the AVCA’s Phenom List (2020, 2021) and Prep Volleyball’s Frosh 59. She plays club volleyball for the Utah Hive under coach Sarah Chism, and her team won the Triple Crown SLC tournament and took third at the Red Rock Rave.

“When recruiting opened back up after a year and a half, Maggie’s club tournament in Salt Lake City was the first place I went,” Cook said. “Maggie is a special talent, an elite competitor and a multi-sport athlete, which we love here at Nebraska. Coach Williams and I presented a great plan for her to succeed in both sports, and that’s one of the reasons she decided to come here. We can’t wait for Maggie to be a Husker.”

On the basketball court, ESPN tabbed Mendelson the No. 32 recruit and the sixth-ranked post in the country. As a member of the U.S. U16 National Team, she averaged 10.0 points and 6.7 rebounds per game at the FIBA Americas Championship in August, helping the Americans to six wins en route to the gold medal.

At Fremont, Mendelson played for coach Lisa Dalebout and led the Silverwolves to the 2021 state championship with a perfect 26-0 record as a sophomore. Mendelson averaged 14.3 points, 8.9 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 1.5 steals and 1.9 blocks while starting every game. She collected 15 points and 14 rebounds in the state title game.

As a freshman, Mendelson averaged 8.0 points, 5.6 rebounds, 0.7 assists, 0.3 steals and 1.6 blocks per game.

“We are thrilled that Maggie has chosen to join our Husker family. She is an elite-level athlete in two sports and she is also a great person with a great family,” Williams said. “We feel that her talents and strengths are a great fit with the way we play at Nebraska. We can’t wait to watch her compete in both basketball and volleyball as a Husker. As a basketball player, Maggie runs the floor well and has excellent quickness. She obviously has great timing, which allows her to be a shot-blocker on both the basketball and volleyball courts. She also has the ability to use her size to score with her back to the basketball, and she can stretch the floor by hitting the three-point shot.”

In the classroom, Mendelson carries a 4.0 grade-point average, is a member of the honor society and is an academic all-state honoree.

Since 2000, four student-athletes — Greichaly Cepero, Laura Pilakowski, Alicia Ostrander and Allie Havers — have been on the rosters for both volleyball and basketball at Nebraska. Volleyball All-Americans Cepero and Pilakowski were starters in both sports in the same season (2002-03). Havers, a two-year starter on the basketball team (2015-16, 2016-17) later played for the volleyball team in its indoor (2017) and beach (2018) seasons.