I currently play professional volleyball in Baku, Azerbaijan for Rabita Baku. I officially signed my contract about two weeks ago, and within one week, I was all packed and headed to a foreign country I hadn’t heard of before, didn’t know much about, and whose name I could barely pronounce. The sad thing is this was the least stressful part of everything for me. The most stressful was going through the agent and contract process for the very first time.
I was fortunate enough to play volleyball at the University of Minnesota under head coach Hugh McCutcheon. Hugh is a pretty big deal in the volley world apparently, and has tons of connections everywhere. He was the first person I started talking to when my collegiate career ended. We had talked about professional volleyball before, but now that I was all done, I began to make connections through him and went that route.
Hugh was the one who introduced me to Andy Inveiss, a lawyer who eventually became my agent. Andy contacted me saying a team in Azerbaijan’s Champion’s League was interested in me. I sat down with Andy and one of his connections, Andrzej Grzyb, at the All-American banquet in Seattle. Finding an agent to represent me was a task in itself. I needed to trust this person, and Andy was great. He wasn’t trying to cut me deals, or pressure me into signing with him or a team right away, and he genuinely cares about helping me reach my personal and professional goals.
We went over logistics of a contract: contract length, money, expectations, accommodations, etc. Fresh out of college, this was extremely overwhelming. I am very blessed and thankful to have had a few great mentors in Hugh and Andy to help me the entire way. There were a few things that Rabita Baku needed from me before they officially gave me a contract. They needed all my information including my passports, when I could leave, and I needed to send them game film from this season.
Once I gave the club all of my information that I had requested, they offered me a three-year contract with Rabita Baku. Within 24 hours, I had the contract signed and I was officially headed to Baku, Azerbaijan.
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