LOS ANGELES – Khalia Lanier is used to being in front of the cameras.
Hard not to be the center of attention when you’re 6-foot-2 and dominant on the volleyball court to the tune of 496 kills, 324 digs and 28 service aces while posting a kill percentage of .438, Lanier’s numbers this past season while leading Xavier College Prep (Phoenix, Ariz.) to the Division I state final.
Gatorade AOY Finalist Spotlight: Khalia Lanier, Volleyball
But come Wednesday night, Lanier will get her first real taste of the Hollywood lifestyle when she walks the red carpet at the ESPYS.
“I hope I don’t fall!” said Lanier, who enrolled at USC two weeks ago. “I had to walk a smaller red carpet at the Arizona Player of the Year banquet, but, trust me, it was nothing like the ESPYS. I’m so excited to experience it all.”
First, Lanier will compete against other female Gatorade Player of the Year winners in girls cross country, girls basketball, girls soccer, softball and girls track & field for Female Athlete of the Year, which will be awarded Tuesday night at the L.A. Hotel.
“Honestly, even more than winning, I’m just happy to be able to be here and experience everything with all of these great athletes,” Lanier said. “Athlete of the Year would be such an honor, but I feel like I already won because I’m here. I’m living it up in L.A.; what’s better than that?”
Lanier answered that just seconds later when she remembered that she’d potentially get the chance to see her favorite stars at the ESPYS.
“Oh my God, Drake!” Lanier said. “If he’s with Rihanna, oh my God, I’m gonna die! I don’t even know what I’d say to them. It’s exciting.”
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