By Adam Bernstein
When Nelson Bai started to play volleyball in third grade, he didn’t think much of it. In fact, he didn’t even like it. It was just an activity: something his parents made him do to get outside and be active. It would be an understatement to say that Bai has had a successful high school volleyball career. Since sophomore year, he has been a captain and starter. This season, Bai was selected as one of Newsday’s top 50 players to watch.
Bai didn’t expect to earn one of the coveted positions on this list. He said, “Getting on this list wasn’t that big of a goal. I knew our school wasn’t exactly stellar at sports, and volleyball is all about teamwork, so no matter how good you are individually, you just can’t win by yourself and take all the credit. I was pretty surprised when I found out I was on the list because everyone else on it is from a volleyball powerhouse school, and we are just a school that has volleyball as a sport.”
Bai also plays for an elite team outside of school. He competes for the “17 National” team in the Long Island Volleyball Club. They travel around the country playing in national competitions in places such as Pennsylvania, St. Louis, and Virginia. Long Island Volleyball Club is known around the volleyball community for producing top tier talent.
Bai’s goal for this year is no different than that of most athletes: to win a championship. Although South isn’t a school known for volleyball, anything is possible.
Bai attributes his success to his father. He said, “Every time that I play, he would help me and offer advice. I only realized in recent years how useful his advice really was.”
Bai’s future in volleyball is still undecided. While he wants to play in college, his dream may not come to fruition depending on where he attends.