Hometown: Korce Albania
Birth Year: 1976
Height: 6-5 (196cm)
Weight: 216 lbs (98kg)
Joined Team: January 2001
MAJOR INTERNATIONAL COMPETITION: 2012 – Olympic Games... FIVB World League (Silver Medal)... NORCECA Men's Continental Olympic Qualification Tournament (gold medal). 2011 – FIVB World League. 2010 – FIVB World League. 2009 – 2010 FIVB World Championship Qualifier for NORCECA Group F (Gold Medal)... FIVB World League. 2006 – FIVB World Championships... FIVB World League... Pan American Cup (Gold Medal)... Argentina Tour. 2005 – Pacific Northwest Tour vs. Netherlands... USOC International Sports Invitational (Silver Medal)...Argentina Tour... Americas' Cup (Gold Medal)... FIVB World Championship Qualifying Tournament (Gold Medal)... NORCECA Continental Championships (Gold Medal)... World Grand Champions Cup (Silver Medal). 2004 – NORCECA Olympic Qualifying Tournament (Gold Medal)... Japan Tour... Houston Series... USA Global Challenge (First Place)... Serbia and Montenegro Tour (Second Place)... Olympic Games (Fourth Place). 2003 – Colorado/Nebraska Tour... Canada Tour... Pan American Games (Fourth Place)... NORCECA Zone Championships (Gold Medal)... World Cup (Fourth Place). 2001 – World League... NORCECA Zone Championships.
INTERNATIONAL HIGHLIGHTS: 2012 – Named USA Volleyball Men's Indoor Most Improved Player... Was the team’s starting setter in 2012, playing in 92 out of 115 sets. Finished season with 46 points on 18 kills, 24 blocks and four aces. Also had 128 digs (1.39 per set). Was credited with 705 running sets (7.67 per set)… Started 20 out of 21 sets at the Olympic Games, finishing with 10 points on three kills, six blocks and one ace. Match high was three points against Brazil on two kills and one block. Finished second among Olympic setters with 213 running sets (10.65 per set). Credited with 31 digs (1.55 per set)… Played in 57 out of 60 World League sets, scoring 29 points on 14 kills and 15 blocks, including highs of five points against France in France (4 kills, 1 block) and against France in Dallas (1 kill, 4 blocks). Finished first among all setters in pool play with 331 running sets (5.81 per set). Finished second among all setters in the World League Final Round with 74 running sets (5.29 per set)... Started 15 out of 16 sets at the NORCECA Olympic Qualifier. Finished with seven points on one kills, three blocks and three aces. Credited with 87 running sets (5.44 per set). Finished second on the team with 22 digs (1.47 digs per set)… During the winter of 2011-12, played for Sisley Belluno in Italy's Serie A League 2011 – Played in 10 World League sets and started eight before Brian Thornton took over as the starter... Credited with 67 assists (6.7 assists per set). 2010 –Donald did not play for the U.S. in 2010 after suffering an injury to his leg in an FIVB World League match against Egypt on June 18 in North Carolina... He played in 13 World League sets and placed 24th among the League's best setters, and second on the U.S. team, wth 71 running sets, 181 still sets. A running set is defined as a set from a player that puts their hitter against one blocker or none. Still sets happen when a player sets an attacker and there are two blockers or more. He averaged 1.45 assists per set. He also tied for third among the team with 21 digs (0.43 per set)… Played for Italy's Prisma Taranto during the winter of 2009-10. 2009 – After taking a season off from the U.S. team and playing professionally in the Middle East, Suxho returned under new head coach Alan Knipe and shared starting setter duties with Kevin Hansen. He finished the season credited with 174 running sets (assists) and six faults on 780 attempts. He averaged 4.14 running sets per set. He also scored 21 points on seven kills, nine blocks and five aces in 42 sets... Suxho was named Best Setter at the FIVB World Championship Qualifier, where he finished with 18 running sets and no faults on 80 attempts, averaging 2.0 running sets per set... Suxho helped the U.S. Men win their pool at World League. They went on to finish sixth overall. Suxho was credited with 150 running sets and three faults on 644 attempts in pool play. That is an average of 3.33 running sets per set. 2007 –In March, Donald partially ruptured his left Achilles tendon while playing for Acqua Paradiso in Italy. He had surgery in Italy and then returned to the United States for rehab with the U.S. Men's National Team's athletic trainer Aaron Brock. 2006 – Started every match at the World Championships...Was the starting U.S. setter in every match of the FIVB World League... Started as setter for the inaugural Pan American Cup, but did not play the entire tournament due to a sprained ankle... Helped the team finish 4-1 in the Argentina series... Finished the season with 42 kills and 15 aces. 2005 – Nominated by USA Volleyball for the 2005 United States Olympic Committee (USOC) SportsMan of the Year honor... In his first year as the full-time starter, Donald quarterbacked Team USA to one of its most successful seasons in years...The Americans posted a record of 27-6 and earned five podium placements during the year, including a silver medal at the USOC International Sports Invitational (San Diego, Calif.); a gold medal at the America's Cup (Brazil); a gold medal at the FIVB World Championship Qualifying Tournament (Puerto Rico); a gold medal at the NORCECA Championships (Canada); and a silver medal at the FIVB World Grand Champions Cup (Japan)... Suxho led the team in service aces with 25 and helped the Americans post a stellar hitting percentage of .376 on the season... He also finished third on the team in blocks with 48... He capped his first season as a starter for the USA squad that captured the silver medal at the FIVB World Grand Champions Cup in November in Japan... The Americans, who lost to defending Olympic gold medalist Brazil in the first match of the tournament, lost just one set the rest of the way as they defeated Japan (3-1), 2004 Olympic silver medalist Italy (3-0), Egypt (3-0) and China (3-0) en route to their fifth medal in five events this season... Started at setter as the USA Men stunned the world's best team when it defeated 2004 Olympic gold medalist Brazil in five sets to win the America's Cup tournament in Brazil on Aug. 7... Earned "Best Server" honors as Team USA won its second-straight NORCECA Continental Championship with a four-set victory over Cuba on Sept. 15... The USA Men qualified for the FIVB World Grand Champions Cup with the gold-medal win... Also earned a gold medal in August at the FIVB World Championship Qualifying Tournament as the USA Men qualified for the 2006 World Championships. 2004 – Made his first Olympic appearance in Athens, Greece as the USA Men finished fourth overall. The U.S. Men were trailing Greece 2 sets to 1 and losing 5-0 in the fourth set when Head Coach Doug Beal brought Suxho in to replace starter Lloy Ball. Suxho helped the U.S. Men come back from a 20-12 deficit to win the fourth set 25-23 and the U.S. went on to win the fifth set 17-15... Served as the backup setter to starter Lloy Ball. 2003 – Started at setter until the NORCECA Zone Championships in Mexico as Team USA captured the gold medal and a berth in the 2003 World Cup, the first Olympic qualifier... Served as the backup setter to starter Lloy Ball at the NORCECA championships and World Cup.
COLLEGE HIGHLIGHTS: 2000 – American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) National Player of the Year... AVCA First-Team All-American... First-Team All Mountain Pacific Sports Federation... Asics/Volleyball First-Team All-American...Led the team in assists (2,025) and aces (57) and ranked second in digs (169) and third in blocks (94). 1999 – AVCA First-Team All-American... Asics/Volleyball Second-Team All-American... Second-Team All-MPSF... Set a USC single-season record with 63 aces...Ranked second in the country with a .594 aces-per-game average and No. 7 with 17.6 assists per game. 1998 – Third-team All-MPSF... Played in each of the team's 99 games...Recorded 1,518 assists, 214 digs, 103 blocks and 95 kills. 1997 – Starting setter as a freshman... Set an NCAA single-match record with 129 assists against Ohio State... Posted 1,585 assists, 220 digs, 93 kills and 63 blocks.
HIGH SCHOOL/CLUB HIGHLIGHTS: Was the starting setter for the Albanian National Team (1995-96) and junior national team (1991-96)... Played for the Skenderbeu club team from 1991 to 1996 that was coached by his father, Petraq (who was an assistant for the Albanian national team and the head coach of the country's junior national team), and the Studenti club team that won the 1996 Albanian national championship... Donald prepped at
Koci Bako High in Korce, Albania.
PERSONAL: Born Donald Suxho in 1976 in Albania... Has a son named Shane born in 2001... Married volleyball player Eleni Gkortsaniouk in August, 2011 in Ukraine... Donald's brother, Rando, also played volleyball in Albania. Donald also played soccer and was a swimmer... Donald came to America in 1996 and lived in Massachusetts while searching for a college... Communications major at USC... Enjoys skiing, hiking, swimming, movies and traveling... Says one of the most defining moments in his life is choosing to play volleyball at USC because "I am who I am because of that"... His goals off the court are to "be the best person I can be and give my son a better life than mine"... Most prized possessions are "my son and my family"... One of his fondest childhood memories is traveling to Bulgaria for the first time... Wants to vacation in Tahiti... If he won the lottery, he would buy his "parents all they want, open a savings account for my son" and party around the world with his friends... Says most people would be surprised that he has a big heart... Describes himself as "fun, outgoing and not picky.”
Last updated October 2012
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