Abdelrazek takes time to visit with Team Egypt

Abdelrazek takes time to visit with Team Egypt

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The summer months offer student-athletes and coaches a chance to recharge for the upcoming academic year while also improving themselves, on and off the playing fields.  CUA head volleyball coach Nagy Abdelrazek did not pass up his opportunity to do just this as he recently headed to Concord, North Carolina where he was a guest of Team Egypt at the 2010 Federation Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB) World League.

The World League originated in 1990 and has been played every year since.  A total of 16 countries are taking part in the 2010 edition, with the teams split into groups of four.  Each country plays the other teams in its group twice in home and away matches.  The winners of each group then go through to join the host country (Argentina) and a wild card chosen by the FIVB in the championship round, which will take place July 21-25.

Abdelrazek saw Team Egypt take on Team USA at the Cabarrus Arena and Event Center on June 18 and 19 in Pool C.  Finland and Russia are the other two countries in the pool.  While Abdelrazek had high hopes for the trip, his experience surpassed even his own expectations.

“The entire experience was incredible,” the native of Egypt explained.  “I cannot begin to say how happy and excited I was to be there.”  Abdelrazek contacted members of Team USA’s administration last May and inquired about the possibility of being with Team Egypt during its visit in June.  He was more than pleased to learn that his dream would become a reality during the summer of 2010. 

Abdelrazek was allowed access to all of Team Egypt’s practices and he sat right next to the bench during matches, offering him a unique perspective of top-level volleyball.  “It gave me an idea about the philosophy of the entire sport.  The assistant coach of the team, Sherif El Shemerly, is from Egypt and so he was able to keep me up to speed on the latest news regarding Egyptian volleyball.”

He continued, “The matches were shown live on television in Egypt, which is a big deal.  Some of my friends and family called to let me know they saw me on TV, which was neat.  It was 4:00 in the morning there so they had to stay up a little later than usual,” Abdelrazek says with a grin.

With his season set to begin in September, Abdelrazek says he was able to bring back several things that he can use with his own CUA team.  “The spirit of the team and communication are very important, that was clear to me.  You must have a system in place; the coaches continually emphasized the system because without it you are lost.”

In addition to his on-court time with the team Abdelrazek was with Team Egypt at the hotel and got to know the coaches and players on a more personal level.  He even got into conversations regarding a potential future trip to Egypt with the CUA Cardinals volleyball team.  “Overall it was just a great experience.  I am very grateful for the opportunity.”