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Alexa Gray enjoying Istanbul after six seasons in Italy

It is your first season playing in Türkiye. How is it different from your past experiences in Italy and have you been able to adapt?

“I think the biggest difference for me is the fast pace of Türkiye. There’s a lot of people, it’s crowded, there’s a lot going on, there are tons of restaurants and I think that’s different from Italy. Italy is a little bit more calm in some places. Obviously, the big cities are busy, but in general, Türkiye is very busy. Volleyball-wise, I think they are very similar. Both are high-level, both are very demanding and also being in the Champions League makes it a little bit harder, but I think, in general, the level in Türkiye is just as good as in Italy. Maybe top to bottom Italy is a little bit stronger, but Türkiye is very challenging as well.”

Outside volleyball, how are you enjoying life in Istanbul? Whom do you hang out with in your free time?

“I am enjoying it a lot, going to nice restaurants… There are a lot of beautiful sites to see and the Bosporus is really nice to spend your off-time. I spend a lot of time with Jole (Jovana) Stevanovic and some of my American friends who are playing on other teams like Galatasaray and VakifBank – Chiaka (Ogbogu), Jordan Thompson, Danielle Cuttino. I hung out with Ali (Alexandra) Frantti a few times… On the court, we are competitors, but afterwards we are enjoying each others’ company and like to go out and see each other.”

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