If you are brought up in the sporting ranks en route to become a professional athlete in most countries other than the USA, it means that your chances at a formal education are basically shot from the start. It is not uncommon for youth athletes around the world to give up on school altogether before they even finish high school to focus solely on their upcoming professional careers.
Brazil’s Curitiba, which was recently promoted to Superliga after winning its promotion tournament, decided to think professional volleyball differently than its peers. A new project, headed by former player Gisele Miró, wants to develop itself in the molds of the NCAA, in which students develop their games as well as their formal education. It’s a welcome innovation to Brazilian professional volleyball, as the team itself is also sponsored by an University.
Here is what Gisele had to say of her project (Melhordovolei.com.br):
“It was an old dream of mine to develop a sporting project based on the North American model. All of our players will be able to study and play, they are already enrolled in classes. I’ve done some research and found out that at least 10 American universities have won more Olympic medals than Brazil as a whole. Harvard, UCLA, and Stanford are a few examples.”
The team has a few big name players signed to its roster for its maiden Superliga season, including Olympic Champion Valeska Menezes, Ana Cristina, and Argentinian Julieta Lazcano.
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