Curitiba, Brazil, July 7, 2017 – Sharone Vernon-Evans was the hero of Canada’s historical qualification for the semifinals of the 2017 FIVB Volleyball World League Finals – Group 1 by scoring 14 points against Russia
, but it was libero Blair Cameron Bann who quickly became a fan favorite at the Arena da Baixada stadium in Curitiba.
Nicknamed “Blizz”, the 29-year-old Bann is a true showman. With apparent unlimited energy, he can be considered the emotional leader of the Canadian team. Always in a good mood, the defender can often be seen encouraging his teammates and celebrating every point enthusiastically on the court.
But Bann helps the team with more than his personality and leadership. The libero was the second best digger in the Preliminary Round, averaging 1.88 per set. In the Finals, he raised his average to 2.29/set to rank fourth.
He is part of the national team since 2009, having won the best digger award for the 2011 Pan American Games, but just stepped up to the starting role last year, replacing long-time libero Daniel Lewis, who retired a few months ago and now contributes as Canada’s assistant coach.
Against France, in the semifinals, this Friday (July 7), at 17:40 (local time), Bann's backcourt skills will be even more valuable as the Europeans count on merciless spikers Stephen Boyer and Earvin Ngapeth, who combined for 66 points in the team’s two matches in Pool K1.