Did this out volleyball player just land himself a spot on the U.S. Olympic team?

merrick mchenry NCAA championships
merrick mchenry NCAA championships

Like a lot of people, UCLA volleyball player Merrick McHenry didn’t feel comfortable owning his gay identity in his hometown of Bedford, Texas.

“[To] be a gay man and grow up in Texas … I just felt out of place,” he told the LA Times last year ahead of helping the UCLA Bruins win their first NCAA title since 2006.

“To be able to be around people who still love me despite what a lot of the parts of the world might see as different … it’s a journey and it still is a journey.”

That journey has continued to unfold. Last weekend, McHenry helped the Bruins gain their second consecutive NCAA win against Long Beach State University, marking the first time they’ve done so since 1996. He was also named the Player of the Year, the first time a middle blocker has done so since 2002.

Needless to say, it’s been a pretty good run for McHenry in his time out in California.

“I’m just being myself,” he told the LA Times. “I’m not trying to be extra, I’m not trying to do more. I’m just ultimately trying to show people that you can be yourself, and you’re still going to be loved and appreciated.”

As for what may lay ahead for the athlete, a recent roster from the Olympics showed him as one of the potential athletes for the US Volleyball Team to play in Paris. He will attend a summer camp where the team will be chosen. A bonus edge for McHenry is that the Olympic volleyball head coach is none other than UCLA’s coach, John Speraw.

McHenry also took to his Instagram Story to address the win over the weekend, capturing a photo of him holding the NCAA Award “That was fun” after the win.

Now that McHenry is putting his college days behind him, his future remains unknown — though starting off as an Olympic hopeful isn’t a bad place to start. Here's hoping the upcoming summer camp goes well.

In the meantime, scroll below for some of our favorite pics of this volleyball hunk, and give him a follow to wish him luck!