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Saturday, January 28, 2023

Marreese Speights trekked from Oakland to Orlando in prep for the NBA Draft - and all in a matter of a couple weeks.

At least he's not Angie McGinnis. The former UF volleyball star has been from China to Mexico to Colorado Springs and then back to the East side in Japan and is now in Poland training with the USA Volleyball team. Those road trips to Arkansas and Mississippi don't look so bad anymore.

McGinnis has been named to the preliminary roster of 19 women, and the final roster will be trimmed to 12 before the Beijing Olympics.

"We go from time zone to time zone and are expected to adjust and practice like normal," McGinnis said in an e-mail interview. "My body doesn't like it very much, that's about all I can say."

She was only able to answer questions through e-mail due to her travel schedule.

The final roster will be announced mid-July, and if she makes the cut, McGinnis will be the first ever Gator to make the USA Volleyball Olympic team.

"I never imagined what it would feel like getting this close," she said. "I've always dreamed of walking into the opening ceremonies, but I'm going to save thinking about that until I make the team because then it will be all that more special."

With the way she played at UF, it's no surprise that McGinnis is where she is. She holds the school record for assists with 5,784, is the only Gator with 1,000 digs and 300 blocks in her career and won Southeastern Conference Player of the Year twice.

Now, more teams than just those tucked in the Southeast corner of the United States have to watch out for her play-making ability.

"I've always dreamed of getting a chance to play with these amazing athletes in the Olympics," she said. "I know that everyone expects all of us young ones on the 19-man roster."

If she doesn't make it, McGinnis said she would still consider trying out for the 2012 Olympic team. But she'll take being one of the 19 best women volleyball players in the nation for now.

"It's a honor to be named to the 19-man roster for the Olympics," she said. "It finally shows me that I can accomplish my goals if I give it all I got."

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