Sam Deroo: Passion for volleyball

Presenting the member of the FIVB Athletes’ Commission and captain of the Red Dragons

When Sam Deroo was growing up in the sport of volleyball, Giba served him as the main example on the court. The young Belgian talent passionately watched a lot of videos of the Brazilian star and eventually became a star himself. Now, the 29-year-old captain of the Red Dragons and legendary Giba happen to be on the same team off the court, the FIVB Athletes’ Commission.

Sam Deroo is in the middle of his career as a player. The 2.03m-tall outside hitter is currently in his 12th season in professional volleyball, after getting started when he was 18 years old back in 2010 with the Belgian club of Knack Randstad Roeselare. In that first season as a professional athlete, Sam and his teammates not only celebrated as national cup and national super cup winners, but also made it to the CEV Champions League playoffs. In his second season, he topped the best receivers’ chart of the 2012 CEV Cup club tournament.

However, his journey in international volleyball started a couple of years earlier, when Sam was already a member of Belgium’s junior national team and achieved a sixth-place finish at the 2009 FIVB Men's Junior Volleyball World Championship in India.

Deroo on the block during a 2009 Junior World Championship match

Deroo made his debut for the senior men’s national team in 2011 playing at the CEV European League and the CEV European Championship. Two years later, he was on the squad that won the 2013 European League gold, his first and only medal with the Red Dragons so far.

Since 2015 Deroo has been Belgium’s captain. He led the team to the semifinals of EuroVolley 2017, but they fell a set short of making it to the podium.

After spending a couple of seasons with Knack and three years in the Italian league, Sam Deroo transferred to Poland’s ZAKSA Kedzierzyn-Kozle. Within the four seasons with that club, he won three national championship titles and two national cups, and then crowned the end of that period with Qatar’s Emir Cup trophy as a player of Al-Rayyan.

The Belgian star moved to Russian powerhouse Dinamo Moscow for two years. In his first season, he was voted the team’s best player by the club’s fans. In his second, he and his teammates triumphed with three major club trophies, the 2021 CEV Cup, the 2021 national title and the 2020 national cup.

As of the beginning of the current season, Deroo is back in Poland, now defending the colours of Asseco Resovia Rzeszow.

In March 2021, Sam Deroo was appointed to the FIVB Athletes’ Commission.