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At the age of 20, Novi is not new to volleyball

Murat was born on New Year's Day, but this is not the reason for his nickname Novi

Ankara, Turkey, August 31, 2013. The setter of the Turkish national team at the FIVB Volleyball Men's U21 World Championship Murat Yenipazar has a cool nickname.  When he was on a training camp three years ago, his team-mates started calling him Novi (‘new’) and it stuck to him ever since.  The reason is not that Murat was born on New Year’s Day in 1993, but rather the fact that, before moving to Turkey at the age of 3, his father was born in the Serbian city of Novi Pazar, translated as Yenipazar in Turkish, hence the family name.


But despite his young age, Novi is not new to volleyball, as one can tell by the volleyball skills he has demonstrated on the court at Baskent Hall during this championship.  He has been practicing the sport for over eight years now and is very passionate about it.


“Some coaches came to our school when I was 12 and chose some of us to become volleyball players,” Murat remembers. ”But they selected all the tall ones, while I was short. So I begged to them to choose me. I wanted it so much that I convinced them to give me a shot.”


But for the following two years he trained without a net, just technical practice, and then his father decided to stop him from playing volleyball.  “He wanted me to study in a good school and he thought that I cannot combine the two,” Murat continues his story. ”I gave up training and started to study for the high school exams. However, I could not get good results.  I received a call one day with an offer to go to a technical high school, so that I can play for their volleyball team.  I did not think twice it and immediately accepted.”


After playing for his school team, Murat was invited by the Istanbul Buyuksehir Belediyesi volleyball club to become a professional player.  He made it to their senior men’s team when he was 16 and nowadays he still defends the club’s colours.


Murat expresses his love for the sport in one sentence: “What comes first after my family is volleyball.”





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