Prime Volleyball League 2023 - News


Hyderabad Black Hawks’ John Joseph E J was among the emerging stars from Season 1 of RuPay Prime Volleyball League powered by A23.

The 6 ft 5 inches Middle Blocker from Kerala was a nightmare for opposition attackers in Season 1. Showcasing great understanding of the game, the 22-year-old rose up to every challenge presented by the attackers in the tournament.

With three wins and as many losses, the Black Hawks finished fourth in the league phase. John played a pivotal role in guiding the Hyderabad Black Hawks to the semi-finals, where they lost to the Ahmedabad Defenders in a nail-biting four-setter.

Despite the Hyderabad team's exit in the semi-final, John was awarded the Best Blocker of the Season for his stellar campaign. The youngster ended the first season with 17 blocks to his name at a 40% success rate.

The Kerala-born volleyball star was bought for INR 2.90 lakhs at the auction by Hyderabad Black Hawks in the first season. Having proved his worth, last season’s semi-finalists retained John’s services in the upcoming campaign for INR 7 lakhs.

John, who has received his formal training at Sports Authority of India (SAI)’s Kozhikode (Calicut) center, has already represented his home state at the Junior Nationals.

However, the rising volleyball player feels that with better training facilities and advanced coaching, the Indian players can improve further.

“We don’t have enough infrastructure for volleyball in India. With advanced coaching and equipment such as service machines and attacking machines, we can become much better players. We need to have longer coaching camps as well,” John was quoted as saying to Indian news agency ANI.

Inspired by the likes of USA blocker Maxwell Holt and India’s Vineet Chaudhary, John hopes to make his debut for the Indian national volleyball team soon.

Having set his sights on representing the Indian senior team, John will aim to replicate his spectacular form for Hyderabad Black Hawks in the second edition of RuPay Prime Volleyball League powered by A23, starting from February 4.