Fresh off an all-tournament performance at the 1999 NCAA Men’s Volleyball Championships, senior Ryan Millar has been invited to join the US National Men’s Volleyball Team at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. Millar will report for training in Colorado Springs on June 5, 1999.
The 6-8 middle blocker will join three other collegiate players on the team, including AVCA National Player of the Year George Roumain (Pepperdine), Brandon Taliaferro (UCLA) and Adam Naeve (UCLA).
While Roumain, Taliaferro and Naeve will return to the collegiate ranks next season, Millar is the only candidate likely to remain to train for Olympic competition throughout the year.
Millar said he knows he will have to take his game to a higher level to be able to make the Olympic Team. He also said he knows the Olympic coaches will be expecting just that.
“This is something I have always wanted to do,” Millar said. “I have to go out there and play well and show them what I can do. Hopefully I will end up playing in the Olympics in 2000.”
Besides being a vital part of the Cougars’ NCAA Championship run, Millar led the nation in hitting and blocks per game. Throughout his four-year career at BYU, Millar produced a combined 11 single-season and career records.
“Winning the NCAA Championship has given me a lot of confidence going into my training with the US National Team,” Millar says. “I know I have the ability to accomplish my goals and with a lot of hard work and determination, I know everything will work out. It was my goal to win the national championship. Now, my next goal is to represent the United States in the Olympic Games in Sydney.”
With the National Team, Millar will compete in several international competitions over the summer and into next year. According to Millar, his play during these competitions will go a long way in helping head coach Doug Beal determine the three-time All-American’s ability to play at the Olympic level.
“The competition will be very tough,” Millar said. “It will be challenging to take my game to the next level, but that is exactly what the coaches will be looking at whether or not I can play on an international level.”