10-27-2020 – By NJP
Former Harrison High School and NJIT Highlander Opposite Piotr Namiotko announced on Monday that he will be joining the pro ranks and has signed with the Tennessee Tyrants in the NVA. We had a chance to catch up with Piotr after the announcement to discuss the league and his fit on the Tyrants. Many NJ based players have made their way to the NVA including Ryan Kenny (Cinnaminson/Bliesen), Ron Dunn (Cinnaminson/Kean), Bez Arslani (Wayne Valley/Kean) and Chris Nugent (Fair Lawn/Penn State).
Our first question to Piotr was “Why Tennessee? Namiotko shared “Tennessee is going to be a staple location for a professional team. And this is just the beginning. There’s great volleyball in that area, now they have a team to represent that location”.
With COVID, it’s been hard for many players to get time on the indoor courts and many have opted during the summer to play outside with beach or grass venues. But Piotr is chomping on the bit to get back to a regular routine and with this new group. “All my new teammates are a bunch of fun goof balls that can’t wait to finally compete in this event. Due to COVID, life after NJIT hasn’t been that exciting. Just lots of working. It wasn’t until recently that I started getting more and more volleyball touches”.
What will the new league be like? Piotr stated “Well, this will be my first time in the NVA so I don’t know what to expect from it. I just know there will be a lot of stud volleyball players making it a highly competitive league.” The league starts with a major tournament n November and the best part is that games will be streamed so all NJ fans can watch. “November 5th-8th starts our league tournament which anyone can watch online on the NVAUSA website. The Tyrants are a brand new team added to the league and I think with the guys we gathered, this will be a very strong start for the program right from the bat.” The league also has an app that will facilitate watching games live on your phone.
It’s great to see a Pro league in the USA now for both men and women. North America has been under served in this regard compared to the many European Pro leagues where tens of thousand fans come out for games. Can playing Pro Volleyball be a logical next step for NJ players after college? “I think it is realistic for anyone to become a Pro. Volleyball is a very versatile sport and anyone with any athleticism or with any height can find a spot on the court. But like any other sport, in order to become professional level, it takes hundreds and hundreds of hours of training, determination, and the ability to listen to coaches and apply their theories and ways of playing and making it into your own skill which helps you grow to be an amazing player.”
Make sure to tune in on the 5th and root Piotr on as well as the other NJ based players on the Tyrants and Team Freedom. Should be a fun watch!