Brandie Wilkerson entered in her first international beach volleyball event when she was 22, making her a late starter compared to many of her competitors. She had played indoor volleyball at York University, where she was named York Female Rookie of the Year as a freshman and was twice a CIS All-Canadian.
After transitioning to the beach game, she played three pro seasons with Claudia Séguin (2014) and Julie Gordon (2015-16), mostly on the NORCECA Continental Tour, before teaming up with Olympian Heather Bansley for the 2016 FIVB World Tour Finals in her hometown of Toronto. The newly formed team would go on to a top-10 finish. In their first full season together in 2017, Bansley and Wilkerson did not finish lower than ninth on the FIVB World Tour and Wilkerson competed at her first FIVB World Championship where they were quarterfinalists.
In 2018, Bansley and Wilkerson earned six podiums together on the FIVB World Tour, including three tournament victories, as they finished the year as the number one ranked team in the world. A big highlight for Wilkerson was her first career World Tour gold medal, which came in Warsaw, Poland on Canada Day, which was also her birthday. They also won bronze at the five-star event in Gstaad, rallying from a tough semifinal loss a few hours earlier to reach the podium in front of Wilkerson’s extended family in her native Switzerland. In 2019, the duo earned two more World Tour podiums.
A Little More About Brandie
Getting into the Sport: Started playing indoor volleyball at 17… Was inspired to try beach volleyball after watching the Canadian teams compete at London 2012… Outside Interests: Volunteers with the Albion Boys and Girls Club, which had an impact on her as a young child who moved to Canada… Graduated from York University in 2015 with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies… Has always had an interest in environmental causes and sustainable agriculture… Fascinated by food and the relationship humans have with it from farm to table and how it shapes our culture and affects bodies and minds… Enjoys drawing in her free time… In the off-season enjoys the perks of living in downtown Toronto – going to restaurants and markets, concerts, taking classes… Odds and Ends: Moved to Canada with her family when she was seven… Father Herb Johnson Wilkerson was drafted by the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers and played pro basketball in Japan and Switzerland… Mother Stephanie Vuilleumier is an endurance runner who has completed three Ironman races… Brother Travis plays pro basketball in Switzerland… Favourite mottos: “Stay present” / “Every flower must grow from dirt”… Collects flowers from her international competitions, will save a petal or two in a book… Inspired by Heather Bansley long before they were partners because of her work ethic and efforts to grow their sport… Has also looked up to Michael Jordan and Serena Williams as strong black athletes who are respected for their talent…
Notable International Results
FIVB World Championships: 2019 - 17th (Bansley); 2017 - 5th (Bansley)
FIVB World Tour Finals: 2019 - 17th (Bansley); 2018 - 5th (Bansley); 2017 - 9th (Bansley); 2016 - 9th (Bansley)
NORCECA Continental Championship: 2018 - SILVER (Bansley); 2016 - 5th (Gordon)