"Playing overseas is a life changing experience…It’s not every day you get an invitation to Siberia". Reid Priddy received one by e-mail from his agent.
When Priddy, a Southern California surfer, golfer and beach lover, says “it was so far out from anywhere we wanted to be,” he’s not just speaking geographically.
“So I just hollered to my wife in the other room. I said, ‘Hey, Lindsay, what would it take to get us to Russia – Siberia?’ She paused and then she said a number and then I started typing it,” Priddy said. “And then she increased it to, like, craziness. I was like, all right, and I just wrote it."
“Three days later they accepted and we were signing. We were just blown away. They knew what it was going to take to get foreigners to start believing in their league. Now, everybody wants to be in Russia.”
Priddy is playing his third season after signing a two-year extension with Lokomotiv Novosibirsk of the Russian Volleyball SuperLeague. In one of the coldest places on Earth, the charismatic 32-year-old (as of October 1) outside hitter has warmed to the notion of stability after playing in Italy, Austria, Greece, and South Korea.
Intense fan interest, widespread media coverage, and wealthy sponsors make volleyball a premier sport in many countries. “It’s a very, very, very good time to be an indoor volleyball player,” Priddy says. “I would be surprised if there’s anybody on the 12-man indoor roster not making six figures. I couldn’t imagine what it would be like to be getting the same amount of money and be able to live in Huntington Beach [Calif.] and still have all of the outlets that I have here,” Priddy says. “I feel like I would play forever.”