12-year-old volleyball player gets surprise of a lifetime

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Randy Haldi is a trembling wreck in the West hallway at Christian Academy of Myrtle Beach. He's about to break life-changing news to his daughter, Kyleigh, in front of the entire class.

WMBF News Sports Reporter Max McGee is there with him.

"Randy, how nervous are you?" McGee asks.

"If It wasn't my kid, I think this would be great. Right now, I'm shaking like a leaf," he says. But this is great news he's about to break - a revelation in the Christian Academy of Myrtle Beach.

Randy enters the class. Nervously fidgeting with his watch, he walks to the front to grab the kids' attention.

"We have a real special announcement and it's not something that happens every day," he begins.

A special announcement for a little girl with a dream.

"We can take a second to recognize one special performer from our volleyball team this past year, and I think you know who it is," Randy says. "Come on up Kyleigh!"

The class erupts in cheers in support of the 12-year-old star, Kyleigh Haldi. The adults standing in the room know what the announcement entails. Kyleigh has no idea.

Back in March, 6th grader Kyleigh tried out for the USA Volleyball team in Raleigh - a tryout she almost didn't get out of bed for.

"We were talking on the way up, and I said, 'Are you nervous?' and she said, 'I woke up and I was so nervous, that I felt sick this morning,'" Randy recounts.

But with a little support from her friends...

"The thing that really meant the most to her was this class - Ms. Clarkson's class earlier in the morning," Randy continues. "You guys went on Facetime, prayed for her and she said right after that, everything lifted off of her."

With that, a moment she'll never forget.

"I've never had the opportunity to do something that I get to do here today," Randy says.

With that, Kyleigh looks up to her father's 6-foot frame with wonder and anticipation.

"And that is to congratulate Kyleigh because you've been selected for TEAM USA," her father exclaims.

Kyleigh's jaw drops as she wraps her arms around her father. The kids cheer and clap.

McGee had the opportunity to speak with the 12-year-old star after the class.

"I enjoy it so much. It's just like something I do every day," she says. "I had no idea because the cut-off date was May 31 and it was getting so close so I just thought I probably didn't make it."

Kyleigh's teacher, Joy Clarkson, is a huge fan of her.

"I am solely an academic teacher and I will say it's especially gratifying to have a student like Kyleigh receive recognition as an athlete because she is the total package."

And now that the surprise is over, the real challenge begins for Kyleigh.

"I'm a little nervous but I'm super excited because I never thought anything like this would ever happen," she says.

Ninety-nine percent of tryout participants don't make the team because the total number of available spots in the program is so small. Having beat out thousands of players around the country, Kyleigh will be one of 25 players on the roster.

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