Who Is Paola “The Amazing” Egonu
Look up in the sky, it’s a bird, it’s a plane, nope it’s “The Amazing” Paola Egonu. Ms. Egonu is a name most never heard of, but if you know volleyball, then you know this rising star. Let’s get to know this week’s Hometown Athlete.
The Climb To The Top
Paola Egonu is an Italian spiker. She was born at Cittadella, in Veneto Italy to Nigerian parents. Her father Ambrose is from Lagos, and her mother Eunice from Benin City. She also has two siblings. Ms. Egonu was one of volleyball’s best kept secrets for years, but now she’s taking over and bringing the sport to the next level. She started playing in her early teens and hasn’t looked back since. She stands at around 6’4 and elevates off the ground to reach heights of 11’4, so we’re pretty sure she can dunk on you if she wanted to.
Ms. Egonu has played in Italy since 2013. She started at Club Italia where she played her first four seasons as a professional. In 2017, she signed a contract with AGIL Novara. Egonu is a part of the Italian national team and she debuted for Team Italy in 2015. Egonu impressed at the 2016 Olympic Games even though Team Italy did not advance past the preliminary rounds. A year later, she helped Italy take silver at the 2017 FIVB World Grand Prix. Also in 2016, she was selected as the Best Outside Spiker of the 2016 Europe Olympic Qualification Tournament.
Her 2017-2018 season saw her win the Italian Super Cup and the Italian Cup with AGIL Volley, and was also awarded the MVP trophy for best player. Her abilities are astonishing to many who watch her play, and she still has room to grow her game. It’s an understatement to say she has achieved much in her 22 years, in our minds she has overachieved and has so much more to accomplish. Italy has been her home since birth and she plans to bring the country to the volleyball promise land.
Ms. Egonu is a very private person in life, but she keeps her family close and her humility high. Paola alternates her sports career with her school courses. She was a very disciplined student as she studied accounting in Milan. Paola would often return to Galliera Veneta, the town where she grew up and where her parents live once every two weeks for the weekend. She has become a hero in Italian women’s volleyball, and defines herself as an “Afro-Italian”. Ms. Egonu returns to Nigeria every two years during the Christmas holidays to visit her cousins and grandparents.
The Future Is Bright
Paola dominates her position and in 2018 her 45 points were not only a World Championship Record, but the tally was 5 points better than the old record of 40 set by Yelena Pavlova of Kazakhstan at the 2006 tournament. That’s a 12.5% improvement on the old record in the 2nd-biggest volleyball tournament in the world, in the semi-finals, and against the Olympic Champions. So yea, we think her future is very bright. Please help us wish this Hometown Athlete the best of luck in her very promising career.