Connect with us

Sports

PVL Season 3: David Kisiel – born in USA, attained stardom in Europe, now finding ‘joy’ in India

Published

on

Chennai, Feb 29 (IANS) The Prime Volleyball League has brought many international stars to India, providing an opportunity for foreign players, as well as Indian enthusiasts, a chance to experience top-grade volleyball in the country. One such player is David Kisiel, who is part of the Kolkata Thunderbolts franchise where he plays as an attacker in the ongoing Season 3 of Prime Volleyball League in Chennai.

Kisiel’s introduction to volleyball was purely accidental. Starting his sporting career with basketball from the age of 5, he received his introduction to the sport after his twin sister Natalie, asked him to play as a substitute in a match with her.

“It was a co-ed team. I joined their practice and I had a good time out there. That was my first introduction to the sport. After that, I started attending more volleyball camps. I started playing in high school and then joined a club team. After that, I got recruited to play at a Division One University (Grand Canyon University), which is the top level in USA,” he recalled.

Despite a good track record in the University, Kisiel had to struggle to earn his first professional contract. At the time, he began pursuing computer science courses to become a software engineer. After working through a few internships during his university days, he managed to land a great opportunity.

ALSO READ:  4th Test: Akash Deep shines on dream debut as England reduce to 112/5 at lunch

“Because I had a very good job opportunity lined up as a software engineer, working in the same company as my brother or I could take the route of becoming a professional volleyball player. And this was actually a very hard decision for me because, with sports, you never know how long you can play for,” he recalled.

This time, too, fortunes turned for him, when Kisiel was called up by the Dutch Club VC Limac during a tough season.

“They told me ‘we’re not having a good season. We need someone to come here and help turn things around.’ I flew out there. It was supposed to be a one-week trial and after one practice, they gave me a contract. I believed I have God-given athletic skills, so, I joined them.”

The 26-year-old joined up with the Savo Volley, a Finland-based club, which earned him the opportunity to play in the prestigious CEV Champions League. “It was something I really wanted to do because it helped me get the exposure to the entire European volleyball market and play at a high level,” Kisiel said.

Kisiel’s family remained supportive of his choices, despite him being the only one in his family to pursue sports as a career. While his twin sister works as a nurse, his elder brother, Matthew is a software engineer. His father (now retired) and his mother work at a hospital.

ALSO READ:  Norway Chess: Praggnanandhaa stuns world champion Ding Liren in Rd-7, Vaishali loses

While he was making a name for himself in Europe, he was informed about the Prime Volleyball League by Matt August, who represented the Kolkata Thunderbolts in the first season. Kisiel, who trained with Matt in his hometown, kept asking him about the league, and once he found out there was an opening in the franchise, he shared his videos and portfolio with the franchise via Matt August.

“After speaking with Matt, he spoke very highly about this team, and about this league and his experience here. So since then, I spoke with the Kolkata Thunderbolts management, and they were interested in bringing me here and that’s how the process started.”

Having already been a regular in the starting line-up for the Thunderbolts this season, Kisiel said that he is impressed to see the athletic nature of the Indian volleyball stars and is enjoying the new and fresh scoring systems and the rules in India.

ALSO READ:  Para-Athletics Worlds: Sun Pengxiang, Wen Xiaoyan set World Records as Chinese stars dominate

“Indian players are very athletic; they can jump very high and hit the ball hard. But it seems like there’s more technicality and more fundamentals in Europe. The level I played in Finland and the European Championship Cups, the level is a bit higher, but the format is different. Here, the rules like the super point and the sets of 15 points make it a completely different game where anything can happen. This style makes volleyball so much fun to play. Anyone can win this league,” he said.

Always wanting to visit India and experience the cultural vastness of the country, Kisiel is also enjoying his time currently in Chennai and believes the league has brought joy back to his sporting career.

“India has been very cool to experience. This was a perfect opportunity for me at this stage of my career life. I have been playing for several years, and there are a lot of ups and downs that come with playing as a professional. The takeaway from here so far is that there’s a lot of joy in this sport and I am thankful to the league for bringing it back to my life,” he signed off.

–IANS

bsk/

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Sports

Golf: All 5 Indians including defending champion Diksha shoot under-par in Czech Ladies Open

Published

on

By

Beroun (Czech Republic), June 22 (IANS) All five Indians in the field at the 2024 Czech Ladies Open shot under-par scores in the first round which saw a weather interruption. The best Indian was Vani Kapoor with 4-under 68 and T-12 at the end of the round while amateur Avani Prashanth was the next best at T-27 with 3-under 69.

Ridhima Dilawari (70) was T-39 and the top three Indian stars Diksha Dagar, the defending champion, Pranavi Urs, and Tvesa Malik, carded 1-under 71 each to be T-55.

Diksha, who was the winner here last year, has been in good form since last season. She had nine Top-10s including a win in the Czech Republic and third place at Indian Open and this season her four Top-10s include a third in Joburg. Diksha, who is headed to the Olympics had four birdies and three bogeys.

Vani Kapoor, the top Indian, had six birdies and two bogeys, while Avani, who plans to turn pro at the end of the year, had five birdies, including four in the stretch between the fourth and ninth holes at Royal Beroun Golf Club.

ALSO READ:  Premier League 2023-24: Man City and Arsenal engaged in title battles in final weekend

Chloe Williams fired a flawless opening round of 63 (-9) to hold a two-shot lead at the 2024 Czech Ladies Open. It was an interrupted day for the afternoon wave as play was suspended at 4.12 pm (local time) due to the threat of thunder and lightning but restarted at 6.10 pm (local time) with all groups completing their first round. But the Welshwoman, who began her round on the 10th tee in the morning wave, was bogey-free on the first day at Royal Beroun Golf Club. Williams also had two chip-ins.

It hasn’t been the best of starts to 2024 for Williams, who sits 120th in the LET Order of Merit, with one top-30 finish to her name. Finland’s Sanna Nuutinen and Sweden’s Caroline Hedwall both sit in a share of second place on seven-under-par 65 each.

Alexandra Swayne of the U.S. Virgin Islands sits in outright fourth place on six-under-par after her bogey-free 66 on the first day. There are seven players in a share of fifth place with Elena Moosmann, Marianne Skarpnord, Maria Hernandez, Eleanor Givens, Virginia Elena Carta, Emma Spitz, and Hannah Screen all on five-under-par.

ALSO READ:  There's a connection both for players and fans with IPL, says Virat Kohli ahead of 17th edition

–IANS

bsk/

Continue Reading

Sports

Football: FC Goa complete signing of Muhammad Hammad for an undisclosed fee

Published

on

By

Margao, June 22 (IANS) Indian Super League (ISL) club FC Goa have announced the signing of Jammu & Kashmir footballer Muhammad Hammad on a permanent transfer from FC 1 for an undisclosed fee. Signing a multi-year contract, Hammad will join the Gaurs for the upcoming 2024-25 season and beyond, marking an exciting new chapter in his career.

“Joining FC Goa is a dream come true for me. The club’s vision and commitment to excellence resonate with my personal goals, and I am eager to bring my best to the pitch. I look forward to representing the Gaurs and making my mark in the ISL. This opportunity means a lot to me and to be the first from my region to play for FC Goa is a proud moment,” said Hammad.

Born and raised in Jammu & Kashmir, Hammad’s football journey began with Lonestar Kashmir FC in the I-League 2nd Division. His impressive performances earned him a spot on the J&K state team for the Santosh Trophy in the 2015-2016 season.

ALSO READ:  Para-Athletics Worlds: Sun Pengxiang, Wen Xiaoyan set World Records as Chinese stars dominate

The defender then joined Real Kashmir FC, where his defensive prowess helped the Snow Leopards clinch the I-League 2nd Division title in the 2017-18 season and secure promotion to the I-League.

He then made an immediate impact in the I-League, debuting in a 1-0 victory over defending champions Minerva Punjab FC in the opening game of the 2018-19 season. He also showcased his skills in the Durand Cup, contributing to Real Kashmir’s advance to the semifinals, where they eventually faced Mohun Bagan FC after advancing from a group that included FC Goa’s Reserves Team.

“We are delighted to welcome Muhammad Hammad to FC Goa. His consistent performances, leadership, and versatility make him an invaluable addition to our squad. Hammad’s journey reflects his dedication and resilience, and we believe he will continue to grow and contribute significantly to our success in the upcoming season,” said FC Goa’s Director of Football, Lokesh Bherwani.

Following stints with Jaipur Elite FC in the Rajasthan State League and FC 1 in the J&K Premier Football League, Muhammad Hammad rejoined Real Kashmir on loan for the 2023-24 season from FC 1. As captain, he played every minute of the I-League, leading his team to a commendable fifth-place finish and earning the prestigious Jarnail Singh Award for Best Defender of the season.

ALSO READ:  Premier League 2023-24: Man City and Arsenal engaged in title battles in final weekend

His remarkable campaign included an assist, 12 clean sheets, and versatility across the backline, helping Real Kashmir concede just 19 goals in 24 matches.

The centre-back’s stellar performances caught the attention of then-Indian national team coach Igor Stimac, leading to his call-up to the probables’ camp for the FIFA World Cup Qualifiers. His impending debut in the Indian Super League (ISL) with FC Goa will mark a significant milestone as he becomes the first player from Jammu & Kashmir to represent the Gaurs.

–IANS

aaa/bsk/

Continue Reading

Sports

T20 World Cup: Navjot Singh Sidhu roots for Indian team in poetic style ahead of Bangladesh clash

Published

on

By

New Delhi, June 22 (IANS) Former India cricketer and commentator Navjot Singh Sidhu has expressed his support for the Rohit Sharma-led side, in his inimitable poetic style, ahead of their Super Eight match against Bangladesh in the T20 World Cup. India will take on Bangladesh in their Super Eight match at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua on Saturday. Ahead of the crucial encounter, Sidhu posted a short video on his ‘X’ account showing undying support for the side.

In Hindi, Sidhu said, “Jo bhara nhi hai bhavo se behti jisme rasdhar nhi, wo hriday nhi pathar hai jisme swadesh ka pyaar nhi.”

Sidhu is currently a part of Star Sports’ commentary panel after his return to the role in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024 earlier this year.

Amid doubts over Virat Kohli’s form at the top, Sidhu said the star batter is mentally very strong and he can overcome his mistakes in training.

ALSO READ:  T20 World Cup: 'It was decided since the team was selected', says Rathour on Gill, Avesh's release

“Mujhe lagta hai Virat Kohli mentally itne strong hain ke woh abhyaas se apni galtiyon pe haavi hona chaahte hain (I feel Kohli is mentally so strong that he wants to overpower his mistakes through training). He wants to overcome those (mistakes),” Sidhu said on Star Sports.

India are likely to stay with their last match’s combination against Bangladesh while Najmul Hossain Shanto is also expected to pick the unchanged 11.

–IANS

ab/bsk/

Continue Reading

Sports

T20 World Cup: Definitely want to win against England to finish event well, says USA captain Aaron Jones

Published

on

By

Bridgetown (Barbados), June 22 (IANS) After being on the verge of exit from the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024 after a nine-wicket defeat to West Indies, the USA captain Aaron Jones said his team will go all out against England to finish their tournament on a high note.

The USA entered the Super Eight stage in what is also their first T20 World Cup campaign, after defeating Pakistan and Canada in Group A. But in Group 2 of the Super Eight, the USA are currently at the bottom of the standings with no points against their name and will face England at the Kensington Oval in Barbados on Sunday.

“I don’t think (there) is any pressure. I think when we first started the World Cup a lot of people didn’t think that we would be here right now. Obviously, we always believed, even before the World Cup started, that we could beat any team in the world.”

ALSO READ:  Premier League 2023-24: Man City and Arsenal engaged in title battles in final weekend

“And as I say, every time you put on your jersey and you go and play for your country, you want to win. So definitely we want to win the game against England and finish well, although we can’t advance in the next round for sure.”

“For me personally, I will go into the game just looking to win the game and doing as best as possible as a team and me personally as well. And then let’s see what happens after that,” said Jones to ICC after the match ended.

Asked to highlight the importance of the USA’s stellar campaign in the tournament where nine associate teams competed, Jones explained, “I think the game against England is important. For me personally, every time I put on a US jersey, I want to win the game, regardless of who we’re playing against.

“I think over the last couple of weeks, starting from winning the series against Bangladesh, it really and truly opened the eyes of everybody in the world, not only for US cricket but associate cricket in general.”

ALSO READ:  4th Test: Akash Deep shines on dream debut as England reduce to 112/5 at lunch

“And then obviously moving on to beating Pakistan in the World Cup, and then having a close game against India and then a close game against South Africa. People know that associate cricket is on the rise I would say.”

Similar views were echoed by head coach Stuart Law in his post-match press conference. “Look, I think Associate cricket is one of the toughest formats going around. I remember going to Zimbabwe with West Indies to the World Cup qualifiers, the 50-over World Cup qualifiers to watch, to go there. It’s a brutal tournament.”

“If those guys play those tournaments quite often, they’re going to be pretty relaxed playing something like a World Cup where you get a game and then you have a day, maybe four days off. In those qualifiers, you get game, day off, game, day off. So, it’s brutal.”

“The way that Scotland nearly would have been great to see that game play out against England. They could have pushed them hard. But the Associated Nations shouldn’t be discounted either. We’re trying to grow the game of cricket. It’s called the World Cup. I think the 20-team format was done pretty well.”

ALSO READ:  IPL 2024: SRH v RCB overall head-to-head; When and where to watch

–IANS

nr/bsk/

Continue Reading

Sports

T20 World Cup: Harbhajan backs Indian team to bring title home, says 'boys are in great touch'

Published

on

By

New Delhi, June 22 (IANS) Former India spinner Harbhajan Singh has backed the Rohit Sharma-led side to lift the ongoing ICC Men’s T20 World Cup and credited them for their consistent performance in the tournament so far. India are unbeaten in the tournament with four wins in five games as their final group-stage encounter against Canada was abandoned due to rain in Florida. India continued their momentum in the Super Eight stage with a convincing 47-run win over Afghanistan in Barbados.

Ahead of their clash against Bangladesh in Antigua on Saturday, the legendary spinner lauded the all-round contribution of players in the ongoing campaign. He asserted that if the Men in Blue continue to play with the same “determination”, they will undoubtedly win their second T20 World Cup title after 2007.

“Our team has shown exceptional form in the T20 World Cup so far, with every player in the playing 11 contributing significantly. We have been playing our A-game ticking all the boxes. The boys are in great touch, and the confidence is high. If we continue to play with the same determination, intensity, and passion I do not doubt that we can get over the line and bring the World Cup home for the first time after 2007,” Harbhajan said on Disney+ Hotstar.

ALSO READ:  It's not that much of a surprise, says Michael Atherton on James Anderson’s retirement

India are placed second in Group 1 with two points after one match. They need to finish in the top two to progress to the semifinals. If they win against Bangladesh, they will bolster their chance for the final four. India will play their final Super Eight match against Australia in St Lucia on Monday (June 24).

Currently, Australia are in the top spot after a commanding win over Bangladesh.

–IANS

ab/bsk/

Continue Reading

Trending