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10/12/2018 15:15
VakifBank’s Ebrar Karakurt is a star on the rise
2018 FIVB Volleyball Women’s Club World Championship

Luxembourg, December 10, 2018. VakifBank’s 18-year-old opposite Ebrar Karakurt made a promising debut at the FIVB Volleyball Women’s Club World Championship, helping her team towards their title defence in Shaoxing by scoring as many as 49 points. On Sunday, VakifBank claimed in Shaoxing their third global crown in six years.

The 194cm-tall Karakurt did step in early in the tournament for injured Lonneke Slöetjes and delivered well for the team. The Istanbul-native plays a key role for the team’s offence and her numbers are impressive.

“She is a great complement to Zhu Ting on offence,” VakifBank coach Giovanni Guidetti said. “Zhu cannot play alone - she needs a lot of help from her team-mates.

“Normally, Lonneke helps Zhu, but she had a minor injury and Ebrar did an amazing job. I am very proud of her because the team was playing without a very important player like Lonneke, but the results remained the same.”

Karakurt’s performance at the Women’s Club World Championship is proof there is more to her skillset than a tall frame. She has a solid background and she started playing Volleyball at a young age.

“I started playing Volleyball in fifth grade,” Karakurt said. “VakifBank discovered me in one of my school matches. Three years after that I joined the club. I have been with VakifBank for six years now. I have won a lot of cups and championships as a member of the youth team. Now I am with the main team, I am very excited to be in the Club World Championship for the first time.”

With the top players in the world as her support system and a brilliant coach as her guide, Karakurt is on her way up.

“Karakurt is very young and talented,” Guidetti said. “She is learning how to play and become a professional player. She has many things to learn. She is crazy, but I like crazy players. I like the way she is developing because you see her growing day by day. We are really lucky to have her.”

Karakurt indeed has the privilege to be with the best but she is not taking anything for granted and works hard to become a better player.

“Working with Giovanni is very challenging,” said Karakurt about her mentor. “He expects the best from everyone and he will really push us hard. On the court, he will push you hard to give your best, but he really is a great person off the court. I have been working with him for eight months since joining the senior national team. He is teaching me a lot about Volleyball.”

Karakurt has big dreams, but with her promising performance at the Club World Championship, nothing is impossible.

“I want to play for VakifBank for many years and I want to be in the starting six,” she said. “I want to win the Champions League. I also have big dreams as a member of the national team. I want to win the Volleyball Nations League and World Championship. I want to make it to the Olympics.”

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