Troy’s Julia Brooks signs professional volleyball contract

Published 12:47 pm Wednesday, January 17, 2024

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Outgoing Troy senior Julia Brooks will continue her volleyball career professionally after signing with the Esmoriz GC in Portugal.

Esmoriz GC plays in Portugal’s top volleyball league and playing professionally is something that Brooks has been dreaming of since arriving at Troy.

“Ever since I got to Troy – and realized it could be a possibility – I definitely started looking into it more and tried to reach out to people that I knew were playing professionally,” Brooks said. “Once I got to Troy it definitely became a goal for me.”

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She becomes the first Trojan to earn a professional contract since Marija Zelenovic, who played at Troy in the early 2010s. Brooks is no stranger to those sorts of accolades, however, as she will leave Troy as one of the most decorated volleyball players in school history. She ended her Trojan career as a three-time All-Sun Belt selection – two-time First-Team selection – along with owning a slew of school records.

Brooks is the all-time leader in career total blocks, block assists and solo blocks in Troy history and also became the first Trojan to ever record more than 1,400 career kills and more than 400 career blocks. As a senior, she tallied 258 kills, 82 blocks and 26 digs on the season.

“Overall, what I think I’ll take most from my time at Troy is that community matters,” Brooks said. “The girls, the team, the support staff and everyone involved with my experience at Troy made it so special to me. It made it a second family for me and that’s what makes it so hard to say, ‘Goodbye’ now.”

Brooks, a St. Louis, Missouri, native, said that she’s never even been out of the country, which will make this next adventure a scary one but exciting one.

“It’s definitely something that is on my radar where I’m anticipating a lot of change but I also did the same thing going from St. Louis, Missouri, to Troy, Alabama,” Brooks continued. “That’s obviously not as far but I was living away from my family independently for the first time going to college and I expected a lot of changes and was open to those changes. I think that will help me understand what I need to anticipate with this next move.”

Brooks is also setting goals for her professional career, as well.

“I want to help keep them in the top league (in Portugal),” Brooks emphasized. “Last year they were in the league below (the top) and went undefeated and I want to help keep them in this top league and also show the U.S. that this opportunity is special and a place like Portugal can help girls dreams come true.”