Brandie Wilkerson made her Olympic debut at Tokyo 2020. She and her then-partner Heather Bansley made it to the quarterfinals, matching Canada’s best-ever Olympic result in women’s beach volleyball.
In October 2022, it was announced that Wilkerson had formed a partnership with Melissa Humana-Paredes, her former teammate at York University who had also been a quarterfinalist at Tokyo 2020 with her then-partner Sarah Pavan. Humana-Paredes and Wilkerson made their debut as a duo on the Beach Pro Tour in February 2023. After reaching the quarterfinals in their first two Elite 16 tournaments, they finished third at the Elite 16 in Ostrava in early June. That was followed quickly by a first-place finish at the Challenge-level tournament in Jurmala. In late July, they earned their first Elite 16 gold medal on home sand in Montreal.
Wilkerson had 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 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 Championships 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.
Following Bansley’s retirement, Wilkerson played the 2022 season with Sophie Bukovec. Despite the newness of the partnership, they won the silver medal at the 2022 FIVB World Championships, just their fifth international tournament together.
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: Graduated from York University in 2015 with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies… Co-founded Project Worthy, a scholarship program aimed at increasing BIPOC representation in volleyball… 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… 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 multiple Ironman races… Favourite mottos: “Stay present” / “Every flower must grow from dirt”… Has also looked up to Michael Jordan and Serena Williams as strong black athletes who are respected for their talent…
|Tokyo 2020||Beach Volleyball||Women||5|
Notable International Results
Olympic Games: 2020 - 5th (Bansley)
FIVB World Championships: 2022 – SILVER (Bukovec); 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)