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FIVB Player of the Century part of Volleyball Hall of Fame 2011 Inductees

Lorenzo Bernardi, who was elected co-FIVB Volleyball Player of the Century in 2001 (along with USA’s Karch Kiraly) as a multi-talented hitter, excellent passer and one of the great all-around performers, is now a key television commentator in Italy
Holyoke, USA, April 21, 2011 – The Volleyball Hall of Fame announced on Thursday the names of six volleyball greats, including FIVB Volleyball Player of the Century Lorenzo Bernardi, who will be inducted as the Class of 2011 into its hallowed halls on October 28 in Holyoke, Mass., the sport’s birthplace.

The newest induction class consists of women’s indoor players Magaly Carvajal of Cuba and Rita Crocket of the United States, men’s indoor players Lorenzo Bernardi of Italy, Hugo Conte of Argentina and Vladimir Grbic of Serbia, and volleyball leader Dr. Frantisek Stibitz of the Czech Republic, who has passed away. The induction class is elected via a vote of current Volleyball Hall of Fame inductees. A total of 19 different countries are represented in the Volleyball Hall of Fame with at least one inductee. All told, 106 individuals will have been inducted into the Volleyball Hall of Fame after this year’s enshrinement ceremony.

“The six inductees for the 2011 Volleyball Hall of Fame are remarkable individuals who have brought distinction to the sport either as a player or leader, and in some instances, in both areas,” said Doug Beal, co-chair of the Volleyball Hall of Fame Selection Committee. “This induction class honors the legends of the game through both diversity of gender and country representation. Vladimir Grbic and Hugo Conte enter the Volleyball Hall of Fame as the first representatives from their respective countries, and this continues the Hall’s mission to showcase the international spectrum being memorialized forever within its walls. Volleyball is truly a global sport, not only with its six countries representing the 2011 inductees, but the almost 220-plus national federations associated with the FIVB making our international federation the largest sports body in the world.”

The Volleyball Hall of Fame induction activities continue to grow in celebrating the accomplishments of the top volleyball players and leaders from around the world. FIVB President Jizhong Wei attended last year’s Volleyball Hall of Fame induction ceremony, which was video streamed for the first time to a world-wide audience. The Hall, incorporated in 1978, continues to create a more representative institution with inductees of both genders and disciplines – indoor volleyball and beach volleyball – coming from a wide range of countries.

The Class of 2011 will become inductees 101 to 106 in the Volleyball Hall of Fame. The induction festivities include a VIP reception on Thursday, Oct. 27, at Wistariahurst Museum, followed by a public “Meet & Greet” on Friday, Oct. 28, with the formal Enshrinement Dinner and Ceremony taking place the evening of Oct. 28.

For additional information on attending the 2011 Volleyball Hall of Fame induction ceremony, contact the Volleyball Hall of Fame at or visit the Hall’s website at

Lorenzo Bernardi was elected co-FIVB Volleyball Player of the Century in 2001 (along with USA’s Karch Kiraly) as a multi-talented hitter, excellent passer and one of the great all-around performers. He played in three Olympic Games (1988, 1992 and 1996), leading Italy to the silver medal at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta. Bernardi also helped Italy to two FIVB World Championships in 1990 and 1994, highlighted by being named Best Player of the 1994 World Championship. He posted 306 CAPS for Italy, winning two European gold medals (1989 and 1995), three FIVB World League titles and the FIVB World Cup (1995). Bernardi was named most valuable player of the 1992 FIVB World League and elected best player of the 1995 European Championship. He played professional club volleyball for many years in Italy winning the prestigious league championship nine times.

Magaly Carvajal (Cuba) – FEMALE INDOOR PLAYER
Magaly Carvajal, regarded as one of the best blockers of all-time, was a huge part in Cuba’s domination for so many years. She led Cuba to gold medals at both the 1992 and 1996 Olympic Games. She also paced Cuba to the gold medal at the 1994 FIVB World Championship. Carvajal collected three FIVB World Cup gold medals in 1989, 1991 and 1995. Carvajal was named as one of the top three players in the world in 1996. As a naturalized citizen of Spain in 1998, she competed on Spain’s national team in 2001 and 2002. In addition, Carvajal became a dominant player in the Spanish professional volleyball league. She helped Spar Tenerife Marichal to the European Champions League title in 2003-04. In September of 2010, she agreed to serve as coach and player for Feel Volley Alcobendas in Spain’s Superliga second division.

Hugo Conte competed in three Olympic Games for Argentina, resulting in a sixth-place finish at the 1984 Olympic Games, bronze medal at the 1988 Olympic Games and a fourth-place finish at the 2000 Olympic Games. Conte was an instrumental part of the Argentina team that was in contention for podium finishes in every major international competition for nearly a 16-year period. He helped Santal Parma of the Italian professional league win the 1984 European Champions League. Conte has played professionally in three different countries – Argentina, France and Italy – but predominantly in the Italian league with Parma (1983-84, 2000-01), Ugento (1984-86), Acqua Pozillo Catane (1987-90), Modena (1990-93), Cuneo (1993-94), Milan (1994-95), Catania (1995-98). Overall, his club playing career spanned 23 years, starting with Ferro Carril Oeste in his native country and ending in 2001 with Parma. His son Facundo is now a member of the Argentina Men’s National Team.

Rita Crockett was a member of the 1980 and 1984 U.S. Women’s Olympic Teams, helping USA to the silver medal at the 1984 Olympic Games. She was one of six players selected to the All-World Team in 1981 as she led the U.S. team to the 1981 FIVB World Cup bronze medal. Crockett assisted the United States to the bronze medal at the 1982 FIVB World Championship in Peru. For 17 years, she played and coached in the United States, Japan, Italy and Switzerland. From 1982 to 1986, she played for the Daiei Team in Kobe, Japan, helping the team to the Japan V-League title and being named MVP in 1986. From 1988 to 1993, Crockett played for Matera and Rome in Italy. In 1990 she was named most valuable player of the Italian League and helped Rome win the European Championship in 1993. Crockett was the first African-American to win a beach volleyball World Championship in 1986 alongside Volleyball Hall of Fame partner Jackie Silva.

Vladimir Grbic (Serbia) – MALE INDOOR PLAYER
Vladimir Grbic led the Yugoslavia men’s team to the 2000 Olympic Games gold medal and the bronze medal at the 1996 Olympic Games. In addition to the Olympic Games, his trophy case includes medals from many major international events such as the gold medal at the 2001 European Championship, silver medal at the 1997 European Championship, silver medal at the 1998 FIVB World Championship, silver medal at the 2003 FIVB World League, bronze medals at both the 1995 and 1999 European Championships, bronze medal at the 2001 FIVB World Grand Champions Cup and bronze medals at the 2002 and 2004 FIVB World League. The Yugoslavia Olympic Committee declared Grbic the best Sportsman of the Year in 1996 and 2000. He also received the Golden Badge in 1999 and 2000 as Yugoslavia’s best athlete. Grbic served on the Athletes Commission of the Olympic Committee of Serbia and as President of the Fund of the Olympic Committee of Serbia. Grbic is currently a member of FIVB Development Commission and vice-president of the Volleyball Federation of Serbia.

Dr. Frantisek Stibitz (CZECH REPUBLIC) – LEADER
Dr. Frantisek Stibitz was one of the founding fathers of the FIVB, representing Czechoslovakia at the inaugural FIVB organization meeting in April 1947. He was truly one of the fathers of the FIVB and world volleyball. In 1966 he was named a member of the FIVB Rules of the Game Commission (RGC), which he then headed from 1978 to 1980. Among his many ideas, the FIVB approved his proposal for using paddles for substitutions that is still used today. In 1977, Dr. Stibitz submitted to the FIVB a first draft of a completely new guide which explained in detail all the rules and the terminology to be used while carrying out any volleyball competition. This document was approved during the 1980 Olympic Games. In 1950 Dr. Stibitz started working actively as a member of various commissions in charge of defining both the rules and the terminology for various disciplines, namely basketball, volleyball and judo. In 1998 he was appointed as an honorary member of the Czech Volleyball Federation and simultaneously inducted into its Hall of Fame. He devoted his last years to the establishment of the Czech Volleyball Hall of Fame. In addition to his leadership roles, Dr. Stibitz led the Egyptian volleyball team to two gold medals at the Pan –African and Pan-Arabic Championships in 1965 and 1966, respectively. Dr. Stibitz passed away on March 3, 2008.

The Volleyball Hall of Fame, incorporated in 1978, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to honoring the great men and women of the sport, and the promotion of volleyball worldwide. The 25th enshrinement in 2010 included Hall of Famers 95 through 100, while the next six inductees will take their place in the Volleyball Hall of Fame on Oct. 28, 2011. 


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