- Karin Bhler
The next American has signed with the German champion BR Volleys. With the commitment of the 23-year-old JT Hatch from Mesa, Arizona, the Berliners have completed the occupation of the outside acceptance position with Moritz Reichert, Samuel Tuia and access Cody Kessel. “He’s a player who can help us in the first place,” says Volleys manager Kaweh Niroomand. Hatch, who is 1.89 meters tall, is one of the smaller players in the squad and has often helped out as a libero during his high school league appearance at the University of California team in Los Angeles (UCLA).
After a first foreign station at Al-Ahli in Qatar, Hatch has signed for a year in Berlin. He is the fifth American in the squad for the new Bundesliga season, which begins on 12 October. The exchange with US players is flourishing, it seems as if the German champions pick out American volleyball players on the assembly line. “What should we do if the German players all go away as soon as they are able to dig halfway straight ahead?” Is the side thrust of Manager Niroomand. “The Americans have a good young talent, we’ve grown a trusting relationship with Team USA in the sporting leadership, so we have relatively good access to a market that is not small.”
At the beginning of the national team season this summer, for example, the Berlin got a nice feedback: Never had the US national coaches their players as healthy and explosive get back as those from Berlin. Benjamin Patch and Jeff Jendryk were ultimately instrumental in the silver medal that won the United States in the Nations League competition behind Russia. The praise from overseas applies to the entire Berlin club, but in particular Athletikcoach Timo Kirchenberger.
Add to that the mediating role played by former Volleys players like Scott Touzinsky or the Shoji brothers. “Berlin struggles every year for titles and I want to help. I’m delighted to train and play at the absolute top level, “says JT Hatch, who knows sports hall flair since childhood, because his father works as a basketball coach, the mother’s volleyball coach.
So far, the BR Volleys had assumed that the psychology student who likes to photograph his future colleague Patch, one of those who arrive punctually to the training start in mid-August in the Horst Korber Center. As it stands, however, his arrival is just as delayed as that of other internationals participating in the World Cup from 12 to 29 September: Hatch has just been appointed to the United States B-team.