‘SC’s Star Seniors: Gianluca Grasso

first_imgWHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE MEMORY AT USC? Josh Dunst/Daily Trojan Beating UCLA at home was just magical, especially doing it on senior night for some of those guys [who are] some of my best friends today. I’m not really sure about that yet. I have a couple options — I could pursue volleyball overseas. But I’m also ready to get a job, start a life, and move on. WHAT’S NEXT FOR YOU? It was tough in the beginning. Of course, there’s a language barrier, understanding what your coaches want, how you’re going to make new friends. The culture’s totally different. The environment is different. It was always a challenge to adapt. It took me a while to understand more about the people. WHAT’S ONE THING ABOUT VOLLEYBALL THAT MOST PEOPLE DON’T KNOW? Just keep your head high. Sometimes it’s going to be a roller coaster ride. There’s going to be ups and downs. You’ve just got to keep your head up, just keep working hard. If you work hard, it’s going to pay off in the end. WHAT ABOUT TRANSFERRING FROM COMMUNITY COLLEGE? WAS THAT A CHALLENGE? DO YOU HAVE ANY REGRETS FROM THE PAST FOUR YEARS?center_img I made a lot of friends playing volleyball. It definitely helped that all my teammates knew English, helped me develop my language as well on the court. My favorite memory so far was my junior year. We had a game against UCLA — it was senior night last year. There was a lot of people, a lot of pressure and we came up with a win that night. I’m going to remember that game forever. No regrets at all. When you don’t win a championship, you’re always like, “I wish I would’ve done that.” We’re working hard this year to reach that goal. In the U.S., it’s not really a popular sport. One of our coaches, Greg Walker, talks about entertaining people: ‘What are you going to do for people to come watch you?’ It has to be exciting. Sometimes, I feel like some people lack excitement [for the sport]. It’s something that we always work on, to put on a show for everyone to come to watch. WAS IT DIFFICULT TO ADJUST TO LIFE IN AMERICA? Coming from Orange Coast College in Orange County, of course the level of volleyball was way higher playing Division I here at USC. It’s tough to adjust to the speed of the game. After a lot of hard work and dedication, you adapt to it easily. DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR FRESHMEN ATHLETES? Volleyball is played all around the world, but the way they play it in the U.S. is totally different from the way they play it in Brazil. [In Brazil], it’s a way more emotional game. You play with your heart. You play for the fans. In the U.S., it’s more of a statistical game. In my opinion, that’s why people don’t really watch it here — the excitement that some of the players don’t have.last_img