Cooper City Native Finally Ready for Olympic Gold After Long Journey in Beach Volleyball - NBC 6 South Florida
2016 Rio Olympic Games

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Cooper City Native Finally Ready for Olympic Gold After Long Journey in Beach Volleyball

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Cooper City Native Prepares For Rio Olympics After Long Journey

    NBC 6's Adam Kuperstein has the story of Nick Lucena, who will take part in his first Olympics in beach volleyball. (Published Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2016)

    Beach volleyball is going to be major in Rio, with courts all throughout the beaches. It’s much different than what we're used to in South Florida, where one of Team USA's best volleyball players started his Olympic journey.

    The sport has taken Nick Lucena from Cooper City to places all over the world, but at heart he's still a Florida guy.

    The Florida State grad has played pro volleyball for more than a decade, but this yea qualified for his first Olympics. Lucena and his legendary partner, Phil Dalhausser are the third seeded team in the world.

    “It's cool walking along the Olympic village, with patriotism from different countries and that's exciting for me because it's new."

    We caught up with Lucena, who is of Cuban descent, last year when he played a home tournament in Ft. Lauderdale. Now, we find him in Rio thinking back at his humble volleyball beginnings on Ft. Lauderdale Beach.

    "Yankee Clipper is where I would go on the weekend in high school. It was just a skinny me and my high school buddy would try to beat these older guys on the beach, but we'd lose constantly"

    But they kept coming back, and eventually started winning.

    "So, once we started getting to top court I was like ‘this is a fun sport’. We were high school kids, so you get to hang out in beach it was fun."