Lima Continues Volleyball Career in Spain

Aug. 23, 2006


From South America, to North America, to Europe, former University of Kansas standout Josi Lima (Sao Paulo, Brazil) is no stranger to the international volleyball ranks. Lima, a 2006 KU graduate and four-time All-Big 12 Conference First Team selection, will now continue her volleyball career professionally in Spain.

Beginning this week, Lima will train and play professionally for eight months in Granada, Spain, located in the southern region of Andalucia. Lima describes Granada as “a college town like Lawrence, but very close to some nice beaches.”

“I’m really looking forward to moving to another country to play volleyball because I will be doing something that I love for a living,” Lima said. “It will also be a great experience to learn a different culture again and adapt to a different environment.”

Lima will join up to five or six international athletes on the Spanish team. In addition to at least one other Brazilian player, former Jayhawk Ashley Michaels (2001-04) will also play in the same Spanish league as Lima. Michaels also played professionally in Istres, France, in 2005-06.

Lima will have the opportunity to become tri-lingual. The team also offers Spanish classes for its international players.

“Spanish and Portuguese [her native language] are not too similar,” Lima said. “Some words are the same but the structure of sentences and the written part are very different. I can understand Spanish very well, I just need a little practice in communicating.”

The transition from being a college athlete to a professional is one thing that may be difficult. Playing as an amateur with the ultimate goal of obtaining a college degree was Lima’s focus at Kansas, which also included a team with real passion for the game of volleyball.

“After playing at KU for fours years, I have learned that many things like team bonding and chemistry are essential to a team,” Lima said. “In college you can feel the passion for volleyball and everyone is striving for the same goal. I am proud of what I have achieved at KU with the help of teammates, coaches and the whole athletic department staff. In pro volleyball, winning is a goal but is hard to know if everyone is playing with the same passion or for the money.”

At the conclusion of the season, Lima plans to return to her hometown of Sao Paulo, Brazil, to spend some time with family.

“My family is very happy for me because I am following my dream,” Lima noted. “But they are even more excited to come visit me in Spain!”