Daily Champion (Lagos)

16 October 2009

Nigeria: Nnamani Ready for Air Travel Again

Ogonna Nneka Nnamani was just getting used to by-passing the alarm clock and being able to sleep in.

But this former U-High Pioneer and U.S. Olympian has a desire to get back to the net to play in the Czech Republic.

"That's the main objective of the game, to have fun and win," said Nnamani, a 2-time U.S. Olympic volleyball player. "But, really to enjoy yourself while your doing it. Time is so short, life is so short so you gotta enjoy what you do."

After the Beijing Olympics Ogunna took some time off from volleyball to do some travelling. Now she says says she's ready to get back to competition and getting back on the volleyball court.

"Its going to be great competition ahead," said Nnamani. "The Czech league is really strong and we're in the European Champions League. It's going to be real exciting because we're going to play against the best teams."

Nnamani, 26, will have plenty of time to think about her future surroundings on the plane right over. As she's become a frequent flier with all her travelling.

She's not high on being in the air for so long.

"I don't know about used to it," laughed Nnamani. "I should be by now but it's always hard to get on the plane. Just try to make the best of it, read, get things to do while your on board."

When Nnamani touches down, she hopes to play like a champion once again.

Fittingly, the former Galatasaray of Turkey star hopes her team is in the hunt for a Champion's League title.

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.

Nnamani 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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