Julian Bissette is having a fairytale season in the Greek Volleyball League. Not that he wasn’t good in 2014-15, his rookie term. He was, after all, the best player on his team and one of the best in the league.
But the young Saint Lucian struggled for consistency with his team, MENT, who were in the top division for the first time since World War II. The side was mired in a relegation battle all year, and there were changes to personnel on the court and on the bench during what proved to be a difficult campaign.
But even as MENT failed to avoid relegation, their unconventional middle was among the league leaders in hitting and blocking, making the young Saint Lucian a hot commodity in the offseason.
Eventually, he was recruited by Kifissia, who finished fifth in 2014-15. This season, though, they are flying, leading the league at the halfway stage. And much of that is down to their Caribbean import.
Julian, less than a month shy of his 25th birthday, is the Most Valuable Player of the first half of Volleyleague 2015-16, the second leading attacker and blocker in the Greek First Division.
He enjoys an attack/kill ratio of 58.21%, while the next best player is at 55.24%. In blocking he leads the league with a set average of .95% per set, with a total of 41 blocks in his eleven matches for the year.
An alumnus of St Mary’s College, and 2015 Senior Volleyball Player of the Year in Saint Lucia, Julian has made a strong case to unseat Darren Sammy as Sportsman of the Year come February.
As the second half of the Greek season is about to get underway, Julian knows there is plenty of unfinished business. He also has one eye on the upcoming men’s beach volleyball qualifiers for the Summer Olympics, where he and partner Joseph Clercent will try to become the first team sport to make the Olympic Games for Saint Lucia.
But for now, his main goal is winning Voleyleague with Kifissia and cementing his reputation as a world class professional.