U High grad Nnamani to play volleyball professionally in Czech Republic

2009-10-07T21:10:00Z U High grad Nnamani to play volleyball professionally in Czech RepublicBy Randy Kindred | rkindred@pantagraph.com pantagraph.com

BLOOMINGTON - Volleyball has taken Ogonna Nnamani to Greece for the 2004 Olympics and China for the 2008 Olympics. Now, the former University High School star is off to the Czech Republic, where she will play in a professional league.

The 26-year-old Nnamani leaves Sunday for an opportunity to face top-flight competition. The season begins later this month and runs through late April or early May.

"This year with overseas contracts, it's a blessing to have a good contract," Nnamani said. "I'm thankful for the options I had. I thought this was the best option.

"Our team is competing in the European League, which is kind of like the Champions League in soccer. It's a great challenge to play against the best teams in the European League."

Nnamani will be honored today prior to U High's 7 p.m. varsity volleyball match against Rantoul at Horton Field House. She will be inducted into the Pioneer Hall of Fame during homecoming festivities this weekend.

The former Gatorade High School Player of the Year called her Czech Republic contract "a pretty sweet deal." It includes a salary and a number of perks.

"They provide you with your own house and car. They also provide food expenses and all of the travel expenses are covered," she said.

"The training is pretty difficult, but it's worth it because they take care of you so you're comfortable. All you have to worry about is volleyball."

The former Stanford University All-American has hopes of competing in another Olympics in 2012 in London, but is preparing for life after volleyball.

She wants to attend medical school, and said of her journey to the Czech Republic:

"I'll be studying over there to try and warm my brain up for school. I'm taking some chemistry books and some random educational books so when I get back in the classroom, I'll be ready."

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