Meeting the Greats.

Coach Carter Blog 1

With the incredible event coming to Shreveport-Bossier in August, I
felt like now is the time to start using the blog section of our
website to document this amazing experience that TC Elite and local
volleyball organizations get to be a part of.

May 3, 2019

I was honored to be one of the crew of the initial visit to SBC on
4/25/19 of members of the National Team and Olympic staff: Danielle
Scott-Arruda, Foluke Akinradewo, and Karch Kiraly.

If you have ever played on a team that I coached, you will know how I
feel about Karch Kiraly.  If you haven’t…. he is THE idol of the game
of volleyball.  He has played in 3 Olympics and is the only American
volleyball player to have won an Olympic Gold Medal in both indoor and
outdoor volleyball.  He has coached Olympic teams in both Men’s and
Women’s volleyball and won more medals with both teams.  There is no
one on this planet better at this game than Karch Kiraly (in my
opinion).  He is the Michael Jordan of volleyball, the best there has
ever been.  I share his quotes, videos, pictures of him in action, and
his articles with my players every season.  If any of my players don’t
know who he is – they will know by the conclusion of our season!  He
was so humble and kind, and most impressively puts his players first
in all things. He sat with his legs scrunched every time we were in
the SUV so that Foluke was comfortable behind him. Something which she
says he does every time they travel together with the USA National
team. He made sure Danielle and Foluke were front and center for every
event of the day, and quietly let them chat and share together
throughout the day.

Danielle Scott is the only American volleyball player to ever have
competed in 5 Olympics!  And she is from Louisiana, so she is very
special to us!  She has a huge heart, and is one of the best
motivators I’ve seen.  She has been through a lot in her life and has
continued to have a positive outlook on life, using her experiences as
inspiration for her motivational speeches.  Her personality is
magnetic and she is so much fun to be around and listen to.

Foluke Akinradewo had just finished her season in Japan a week before
she came to Shreveport and she is sweet, polite, and humble even
though she was still very jet-lagged from her travels!  If she’s able
to be on the 2020 Olympic team, that will be her 3rd Olympics!
The only two things we require of our players at TC Elite is that they
work hard and are good teammates.  The bond between teammates is
indescribable.  The entire day was special and unbelievable for me,
but probably the most enjoyable part was witnessing two of the world’s
best volleyball players in Foluke and Danielle “being teammates”
together all day.  They had not seen each other since 2013 and were
able to catch-up as if they didn’t miss a beat!Teammates are so
special.  They are like family.  We get instant family members once we
are put on a team together, and Foluke and Danielle proved that theory
is true even at the highest level of sports.  Foluke was recently
married so she was showing Danielle pictures of her wedding, her
wedding dress process, and talking about how it all turned out.
Danielle had her 9 year old daughter with her who Foluke had last seen
when she was two years old when Danielle brought her to the Olympics
with the team!  It was heartwarming to see them catch up and share the
events of their lives with eachother. The respect and love that comes
with being a teammate is comparable only to family. They chatted
together the entire day, catching up, sharing memories, and bonding.
They respect each other, they love each other, and they are proud of
each other’s accomplishments with volleyball and in life.  I felt that
way about my teammates throughout my career and I hope that our TC
Elite players feel that with their teammates as well.

The end of the day featured a press conference and a “Meet and Greet”
with Danielle, Foluke and Karch.  Our TC Elite family took up half of
the audience!  We got to chat with them and get their autographs and
pictures.  It was so rewarding to see our players – both new and ‘old’
– get to meet these three living legends of volleyball!  Our TC
players made me so proud by asking questions, being in the moment, and
cherishing the experience.  They truly took advantage of the moment
and will remember the experience for the rest of their lives.  I can
only imagine having that opportunity during my club volleyball days!

I hope the SBC community will realize how huge the Olympic Qualifier
event on August 2-4 is and get out and watch our USA National
Volleyball Team compete at the highest level!

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