Nia Grant Joins Grand Rapids Rise
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Grand Rapids Rise on Monday announced the signing of middle blocker and two-time NCAA national champion Nia Grant (NEE-ah).
Grant joins the Rise with seven years of professional experience throughout Asia and Europe, getting her start in 2014-15 with Ayutthaya A.T.C.C. in Thailand. She most recently competed in the Athletes Unlimited Pro League in the United States during the 2020-21 campaign. In total, Grant has accumulated seven medals at the club level since the 2014-15 season. The 6-foot-1 standout was named the Best Blocker in the German Bundesliga in 2018-19 with SC Potsdam. Grant, who has made stops in Germany, France, Poland, Italy and Thailand during her professional career, currently serves as the head volleyball coach at Saint Benedicts Prep School in New Jersey.
“Nia is an outstanding player and athlete. She is very offensive minded, but her blocking has been her strength. She is the real deal and provides a championship mentality,” Rise head coach Cathy George said. “Nia has been playing professionally for quite some time and her experience and knowledge of the game over the past 10 years will be beneficial to us. When you have a player-led team you really start to cook, and I look at Nia to use her experience in playing and coaching to provide leadership and direction.”
Grant competed at Penn State University from 2011-15, posting a cumulative record of 129-16 (0.890) and collected back-to-back national titles in 2013 and 2014. The Warren, Ohio, native also earned Big Ten titles in 2012 and 2013 before finishing in second place during the 2014 campaign. As a senior, she was dubbed an unanimous All-Big Ten selection, as her 0.458 hitting percentage ranked second nationally and in the Big Ten. In 2013, Grant ranked second on the team and fifth in the Big Ten with a 0.350 hitting percentage en route to being named an AVCA All-Northeast Region member and an AVCA All-America Honorable Mention. As a freshman in 2011, Grant placed second on the team with 107 total blocks, averaging 0.91 blocks per set.
“With this being the inaugural season of PVF, I’m excited to be able to play and help the younger players develop so they can lead this league for years to come,” Grant said. “I’m extremely honored that coach Cathy would want me around for this special moment and give me a chance to play postpartum, because a lot of people are hesitant about how women can perform after having a baby. I know that she believes in me, and I can’t wait to do my best for her and this team.”
The Rise will begin their inaugural Pro Volleyball Federation season in January. Fans can reserve their season tickets now by clicking here, with single-game tickets set to go on sale later this fall.
ABOUT THE GRAND RAPIDS RISE
Founded in December 2022 as the first Pro Volleyball Federation franchise and Grand Rapids’ first major-league women’s sports team, the Grand Rapids Rise will make their debut at Van Andel Arena in January 2024. Led by longtime Michigan State and Western Michigan head coach Cathy George, the Rise’s 14-player roster will play 24 games (12 home, 12 away) during their inaugural season. The team is operated by DP Fox Sports & Entertainment and owned by Dan DeVos, who is also co-owner and CEO of the American Hockey League’s Grand Rapids Griffins. Visit grrise.com.
Photo by Penn State University