When Fatima Balza was hired as the volleyball coach for Western Nebraska Community College back in April, the one thing she did was reach out to her former Cougar coach Chris Green and see if he was available to help put on a camp.
                Green so happened to be back in Gering visiting his parents over the fourth of July weekend and couldn’t have said no. The July 5-6 Elite Camp was a overwhelming success that was put on by the coach and player that helped win WNCC’s first national championship back in 2007.
                The Balza/Green Elite Volleyball Camp featured over 30 high school players from the WyoBraska area that took part and Green was excited to give instruction to the high school players alongside Balza.
                “Being in the gym brings back good old memories especially with Fatima here now,” Green said. “It is a lot of fun to be back home and giving back.”
                Balza said it was fun doing the camp with her former junior college coach and she learned plenty of things from him.
                “It was amazing to work with Coach Green and he brought back many good memories. Coach Green is an amazing coach and having him lead the camp for the Elite Camp that we had was amazing. It was amazing to work with him,” Balza said. “Coach Green is very technical. He likes to break down skills of how to do it. There are some skills that I learned of how he wants and likes it while he was in Alaska.”
                Balza said it was a good two days of the Elite Camp that was held July 5 and 6 at Cougar Palace.
                “We had a really good group of girls,” she said. “At first it was scary not having enough girls because it was fourth of July weekend, but the girls that we had were a very coachable group and when you have that, that makes the camp so much better. We were lucky to have a very good group of girls.”
                Green was the coach at WNCC from 1999 to 2007 when the Cougars won their first NJCAA national title in 2007. Green then went on to have a successful coaching career at the University of Alaska Anchorage for the next 15 years.
                Green recruited Balza as a player and Balza was a force in the middle for the WNCC when she played at WNCC in 2007 and 2008. Balza then went on to win two national titles at Penn State. After Green left, another former Green-coached player came back to WNCC to coach the team in Giovana Melo. Green said it is nice to see his former players taking over the Cougar program.
                “Giovana took over after me and she played for me and so it is great to see my ex-players come back to continue to take over this program and lead this program,” Green said. “Giovana did a great job and now Fatima. It will be fun for me to watch how she does over the next couple of years.”
                What Green loved about the camp was seeing all the talent in Nebraska, especially western Nebraska and eastern Wyoming.
                “Nebraska always has good volleyball and western Nebraska has the Huskers to look up to. There is some good talent here that have been coached well,” he said. “I can see they are hard working and they are very coachable.”
                Green sees Balza doing great things at WNCC as she begins her first season as the head coach this fall.
                “She played for Penn State and won two national championships like the one here. Not too  many people can say they won three national championships,” Green said. “Her volleyball knowledge is amazing. She knows what good volleyball is and she knows the players that she needs to recruit. It will be fun for her.”
                There are just two more volleyball camps that Balza will be putting on this summer. They include an 8th through 12th grade skills camp July 11-12 and a Hitter/Setter Camp July 15-16. And volleyball plays may sign up for both camps for a reduced rate of just $150, which is four days of camps.