The Flyin' Hawaiian

Most volleyball players revel in the risqué lifestyle that is often associated with the sand, surf and skin of sunny southern California. For 6-foot-2, 185-pound, opposite hitter Jonathan Charette, BYU was the perfect contrast to the stereotypical beach volleyball scene.

Jonathan Charette prepped at Pearl City High School on the southwest side of Oahu, Hawaii just north of Pearl Harbor. He was named first team all-league and first team all-state in high school. Since then the "Flyin' Hawaiian," as he is affectionately known, has never been more grounded than he now is at BYU.

"Well, I'm not LDS," said Charette. "Just being around this good atmosphere has made me a better person, so like things that I might have done back home I know I won't do here. Just because of all the good people I'm around and the good atmosphere here at BYU.

"It was tough at first being away from my family at first and being in the cold weather. That was all new stuff to me but I love it now; it's awesome."

Prior to coming to BYU, Charette played two years at Long Beach City College where he continued his prowess over opposing teams with his high flying act and hard hitting spikes. He was named California's MVP as a freshman and conference MVP as a sophomore.

Division I coaches and college volleyball powerhouses came knocking on his door following his sophomore year at Long Beach City College, but Charette wanted to take being a "student athlete" serious and wanted to be in an environment were he could concentrate on being both a good athlete and student.

Although Charette is not a member of the LDS Church that sponsors Brigham Young University, his mother is. Because of her, he had become somewhat familiar of the lifestyle and standards promoted by the university.

"I grew up in an LDS background," said Charette. "My mom and her family are all LDS but I've never been baptized, so I knew what it was going to be like. I came on a recruiting trip and I just saw how awesome it was.

"I came to BYU because they're always a top school in volleyball and that's where I want to be. I just want to play volleyball, and I could have gone to other places, but BYU has a better atmosphere. I was going to go to Long Beach State because it was close to home, but BYU is just a better atmosphere and you can be better focused."

As a junior, Charette's ability to jump out of the gym is a vital part of the nation's top volleyball team. His decision to come to BYU has fulfilled every expectation as both a student and athlete.

"We condition hard and I have nothing else to do but to just focus on school and volleyball so I think being here at BYU has made me overall better," said Charette. "It always feels good to know that I play for BYU, and BYU is the number one team in the nation. I guess I get scared a little bit because you don't want to lose that number one spot. You want to be number one but I just don't know if you want to be number one in the nation this early."

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