Brown Signs Professional Contract To Play Volleyball Overseas

first_imgRebecca Brown, a recent Drake University graduate and four-year letter winner in volleyball has signed a professional contract in Denmark and will continue her athletic career overseas starting in August.Brown will join Amager Volleyball Club, located in the capital city of Copenhagen as the team’s setter in the first division of Denmark’s Volleyliagaen. A native of Bentonville, Ark., Brown recently received her Drake degree in public relations after leading the Bulldogs in assists in 2015 and 2013. “I’m very excited, and nervous, but excited for this opportunity and the doors it will open for me,” Brown said of beginning her professional career.However, playing overseas was not something Brown had considered prior to a trip to Thailand in the summer of 2015 as part of Athletes in Action. “Before that, I had never thought about playing overseas,” Brown said. “But in talking with some of the other girls there, I realized it was a possibility. I’m so thankful for that trip. If [Drake head coach] Darrin [McBroom] hadn’t mentioned it, I never would have been a part of that experience. It opened my eyes and gave me confidence. That opened the biggest door for me, and I’m thankful Darrin gave me that opportunity.”McBroom also participated in that two-week trip that included a match against the Thai national team.Once Brown returned to campus, she began to consider the possibility of continuing to play volleyball professionally overseas following graduation. At the end of her senior season, she began to more seriously pursue those opportunities and took part in an exposure tour through Europe in January that gave her insight into the demands and needs of European clubs and the necessary skills to thrive overseas while showcasing her abilities to coaches and scouts. Despite making numerous contacts during those weeks, her path to a professional contract was actually on the Drake campus.Jacob Enevold, a member of the men’s basketball team and native of Denmark, knew of a few contacts in his homeland and quickly arranged to introduce Brown to the staff at Amager.”It’s amazing I traveled all that way and it turned out I’m joining a team that Jacob put me in contact with,” Brown said. “A lot of pieces had to fall into place and I feel very blessed.”Once united with her new teammates, Brown expects to face her biggest challenge, competing as the only American on a team full of Danes at a position where communication is paramount. While English is spoken commonly in Denmark, Brown is prepared for the challenges that competing outside of her native tongue may present.”I know the language will be a barrier, but I talked to their previous setter and she said the girls are great,” Brown said. “I have to be open and I can’t get frustrated when I don’t know what’s going on or don’t understand what the coach is saying. I need to stay patient and open. The biggest challenge will be not being overwhelmed by that.”To aid in that transition Brown plans to live with a host family in Copenhagen. In doing so, she’ll experience Danish family life and culture on a daily basis to help her adapt to the language and life in a foreign country. Having that type of experience and full immersion into the culture was important to Brown during the process of identifying professional clubs and opportunities.”You come here [Drake]  for four years and get in a little bubble where you’re comfortable,” Brown said. “I’m excited to take this new path and it’s time to just put myself out there and see where this takes me.”Where this opportunity may take her is a mystery to Brown. Her current contract runs from August 2016 to April 2017 and during that time she will also have to chance to gain additional exposure and contacts on the professional circuit to further her professional opportunities if she desires. All of those options are being approached by Brown with an open mind.”I think eight months is perfect and gives me time to figure out if playing overseas is for me,” Brown said. “I’m at a point where I don’t have any responsibilities right now and thanks to volleyball I’m debt free. So I’m going to ride this train and have the rest of my life to worry about those things. I’m going to experience everything I can while I’m there. I’m still healthy, I can still play, so why not?”Print Friendly Versionlast_img

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