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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (March 31, 2022) – USA Volleyball learned on Thursday that the FIVB has approved the transfer of Gabriel (Gabi) Garcia Fernández from the Puerto Rican Volleyball Federation to the U.S. Men’s National Team.
Garcia Fernández, 23, is a 6-foot-7 opposite who played for BYU from 2018-21 and has lived in Utah since 2017. While at BYU, Garcia Fernández was named 2020 NCAA Player of the Year and 2020 and 2021 MPSF Player of the Year. He is a four-time AVCA All American.
“I thank each of the people who have been by my side during my development and this process,” Garcia Fernández said. “Today, I begin a new stage of my life, but will never forget my roots.”
Garcia Fernández currently plays volleyball for AS Volley Lube Civitanova in Italy’s top professional league and is among the league’s leading scorers.
Under FIVB transfer rules, Garcia Fernandez may begin training with the U.S. Men immediately, but is not allowed to compete for the U.S. until March 11, 2024.
“We are excited to welcome Gabi Garcia Fernández to the USA Volleyball family,” USAV President and CEO Jamie Davis said. “As a citizen of the United States, a resident of Utah since 2017 and a standout player at BYU, Gabi fully qualifies for the transfer to USA Volleyball in accordance with the FIVB regulations.
“USA Volleyball prioritizes athletes’ rights, so when Gabi reached out to us with his desire for the transfer, I was very supportive given such request was in complete compliance with FIVB rules. We look forward to Gabi joining the team and investing in his sport and personal development for years to come.”
U.S. Men’s Head Coach John Speraw was pleased with the FIVB’s decision.
“Gabi is a talented young player with a bright future, and we are excited for the opportunity to work together. We will do all we can to help him reach his full potential,” said Speraw, who is also the head coach of UCLA’s men’s volleyball team.
“On a personal note, after knowing Gabi for all these years and competing against him while he was at BYU, I am looking forward to being on the same team. He has the cultural attributes we hope to instill in all our players. He works hard, is a good teammate and is exceptionally professional. Gabi will be a great fit for Team USA.”