Lady Ravens Volleyball Ramps Up International Recruiting Efforts

Take a look at the volleyball team of San Jacinto College and something sticks out, San Jac is big on international athletes. San Jac has three international players on their roster this year, one from Portugal and two from Germany. Now the question is how does San Jac find these players? Simple. Networking.

There are numerous recruiting websites community college coaches can visit and check out players from around the world. Thanks to the Internet, there is no stopping the recruiting process.  Coaches have a field day looking through all the talent they can try to pull in. Hours of video and scouting reports are at the end of a coach’s fingertips.

In addition, coaches from four-year universities contact community colleges to let them know about players they find that are not ready to play at the necessary level, or to get them adapted to American culture.

Head Coach of the Lady Ravens volleyball team Sharon Nelson said, “I’d love to tell you I get to travel the world looking for these players, but I don’t. It’s really more of a networking thing. Four-year schools contact us and place the players with us to get their basics done, get their associates degree and to make that transition into the United States. It really helps when you have built some respect so that these four year schools trust you to take care of their future players and get them ready for the transition not only competition wise but academically as well.”

Recruiting is a long and taxing process. It can start when players are really young, or may not happen until their senior year of high school. These players get a higher education while playing against top-tier competition.

San Jac started the year off ranked number four in the nation, and have number one ranked Blinn College in their conference. They also finished their season last year with a third place finish in Nationals, so they are considered a contender every year and the international talent brought in has had an impact on that.

“I think that when the players leave here they are more ready to lead when they go off as juniors and seniors at a four year because of their experiences here,” Nelson said. “Once you get a reputation that when your players leave they are better than when they came in more four year and recruiting services send some more players your way.”

“I believe that it is better for our player from the United States too because they get exposed to these different cultures. These international players don’t always go back home either. We have quite a few that stayed in the United States and that have jobs, or are playing at four year colleges.  These international athletes get a chance to get a feel for how things are here and see some of the talent that they’ll be going up against possible for the next four years. There is some tremendous talent,” Nelson said.

When someone has the respect of those around them because of their record like Coach Nelson does, it is easy to see why four year colleges and recruiting services put her as one of the top names on their list. She has enjoyed a great deal of success and it looks like she will for quite a while thanks to these recruiting services that keep her posted on great talent around the world.