DALLAS (July 1, 2012) - There are 392 team in attendance at the 2012 USA Volleyball Boys’ Junior National Championships (BJNC) in Dallas. With courts as far as the eye can see and players ranging from 12-and-under to 18-and-under, the action never stops at the Dallas Convention Center.
That is until the U.S. Men’s National Volleyball Team walks through the doors.
Jayson Jablonsky (Yorba Linda, Calif.) and David McKienzie (Littleton, CO) made a detour after their July 1 FIVB World League practice to the BJNC.
Just 100 yards down the hall in the Dallas Convention Center Arena where the U.S. Men are playing in the last Pool C leg of World League are the doors to the 300,000 sq. ft. area where the BJNC is being held.
“It only makes sense to have the very top players in our country play in front of the top junior players in our country,” USA Volleyball Senior Director of Events Tom Pingel sad. “There will be players watching the match tonight who will be future National Team members.”
The BJNC staff announced over the loud speakers that the men had arrived and word traveled fast.
“It is so great that they take time to do this,” a mother from a 12s team said in passing. “We watched them last night and that level of play is something these kids can strive for.”
Nestled between courts 27 and 28 was a crowd of parents, players and fans surrounding Jablonksy and McKienzie for the chance to take photos and ask for autographs. In addition a lot of fans gave them well wishes for London and ensure that they would be supporting Team USA tonight [July 1] for their World League match against Italy.
“Trying to have the World League play in the same city as Boys’ has been a goal of USA Volleyball in past years,” Pingel said. “It worked out that Dallas was able to host both.”
The attendance for the U.S. Men’s last pool play match is estimated to be a high percentage of USA Volleyball members who only have to travel down the hall to take their seats. The timing couldn’t be better to give USA Volleyball members such easy access to the U.S. Men’s match as a win against Italy is vital for the men to advance to the World League Final Round in Bulgaria.
The U.S. Men have been in the shoes of these young club players and can relate to the passion for the game of volleyball. Boys’ volleyball continues to grow in the United States and occurrences like having both World League and BJNC under one roof can accelerate that growth.
Whether in the stands or on the court, these players have a common goal; grow the game.