July 19, 2012
Former Pitt volleyball standout Kiesha Leggs has added another accolade to her long list of accomplishments. Leggs, who was an AVCA All-America honorable mention selection and All-Big East performer as a Panther, signed a professional two-year contract to play volleyball in Italy as a member of the Château d'Ax Urbino Volleyball team.
Chateau d'Ax Urbino, under the direction of head coach Francois Salvagni, captured the CEV Cup, Campionato Italiano Sand Volleyball and Coppa Italia Sand Volleyball tournaments in 2011. Last season, the squad included two Americans: Candace McNamee Novoselnik (Washington) and Fedy Faucette (San Diego).
Leggs, who is currently on campus working out and serving an internship with the Pitt Police, will officially head to Urbino at the end of August. Before she departs, Leggs took a few minutes to talk about her up and coming journey.
This is an amazing opportunity for you - how has this goal been achieved?
To be honest, I'm in a great position to play professional volleyball because of the opportunities awarded to me after transferring to the University of Pittsburgh two years ago. At Pitt, I was able to develop into a strong player and increase my skill sets. Thanks to hard work, it all came together in my favor.
You play in Pittsburgh - how did a team in Italy discover you?
When I was first thinking about playing overseas, I asked around to find out more about the possibility of it. I then emailed a couple of people, which led to me making contact with a great agent. My agent thought I was a good candidate and he did the rest.
Did you always want to play overseas?
At first I wasn't interested in playing professionally overseas. I love being close to my family, so going overseas puts a lot of distance between us. I spent two years in Pittsburgh, which is a long way from my family in Stockton (California). However, I reconsidered and thought it would be good to live in Italy for a few years. Plus, we will always be able to visit one another and I get to experience a different culture.
What are you looking forward to the most about this opportunity?
I've never been to Italy, so I'm really looking forward to experiencing a new culture. I'm not fluent in Italian either, so that will be a new challenge for me. The idea of playing volleyball professionally is an added bonus.
Do you know anyone else who has played overseas? If so, did they influence you in any way?
I know a couple of people who played volleyball overseas. I always hear positive and negative feedback from them, but none of them influenced my decision. This was my choice.
What are you doing to prepare for your next step?
I'm playing pickup with former Pitt teammates when I can. I've also been doing a lot of cardio workouts.
What is your favorite Italian food?
My favorite Italian foods are pizza and pasta. I can guarantee I'll be living off those authentic sauces and cuisines for a while!!