If you haven’t heard the name before, put this guy on your radar! Born and raised in Brooklin, Ontario, Steve Hunt has gone on to do big things in the volleyball world. In his fourth professional season, Hunt is currently competing for Kokkolan Tiikerit in Finland.
We followed up with Steve after a huge win this week against Dukla Liberec, putting them in a position to secure a CEV Champions League main round spot by winning 2 sets this Sunday, November 20th in the Czech Republic. Steve made a huge impact on the match, lighting the team on fire from the service line. Down 19-23 in the first, Steve couldn't be stopped hitting 3 aces and leading the team to take the opening set 25-23. Kokkolan went on to win the match 3-0.
Club team: Toronto volleyball club University
Post-Secondary: University of Hawaii at Manoa
Pro teams: Lamia (Greece), Düren (Germany), Phitsanulok (Thailand), Kokkolan Tiikerit (Finland)
DO YOU HAVE ANY QUIRKY PREGAME RITUALS?
Pregame, I listen to music on my iPod and practice visualization. Getting changed I always have to put my right shoe on first before the left. And tie up the right before the left. If I have to re-tie my right then I re-tie my left as well.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE PART OF PLAYING OVERSEAS?
I love travelling the world, experiencing new cultures, and meeting new people and making new friends all over the world.
WHAT IS THE MOST CHALLENGING PART OF BEING A PROFESSIONAL VOLLEYBALL PLAYER?
The most challenging part is being away from family and friends for 8-9 months of the year - missing birthdays and holidays back home.
WHAT IS THE BIGGEST DIFFERENCE BETWEEN YOUR SEASON LAST YEAR IN THAILAND AND THIS YEAR IN FINLAND?
The cultures are completely different. Everyone speaks English in Finland and no one did in Thailand. The facilities and league in general is more professional and a has a bigger fan base in Finland, which made a big impact on our last game against Dukla Liberec.
IN A BIG GAME LIKE THE ONE YOU HAVE COMING UP SUNDAY, HOW DO YOU BRING THE BEST OUT OF YOUR GAME?
I always try to eat healthy and fuel my body properly, even more so before games. I maintain a healthy diet, and mentally prepare for games (positive thinking). I also make sure to relax during downtime and get a good nights sleep.
WHAT MOTIVATES YOU?
Motivation comes from the love of competing. The atmosphere during big games and the moments experienced being a professional athlete are great memories. I am thankful for the opportunity to play abroad and do what I love to do, as a job. So every opportunity I have I am thankful for.
WHAT IS YOUR ULTIMATE VOLLEYBALL GOAL/DREAM?
Ultimate goal would be to just continue playing overseas and moving up in competition and league qualities. Making champions league would be a huge accomplishment and goal of mine.
Photos: Tommy Lågland