Fuerbringer, healthy now following right shoulder surgery two years ago,
decided to join the pro beach tour and, on July 11, finished 13th at the
Muskegon, Mich., Open and earned his first American paycheck in the sport
he grew up loving.
A former Estancia High basketball sensation and three-year starter
under Coach Tim O'Brien, Fuerbringer opted for volleyball when Stanford
waved a full scholarship in front of him. Fuerbringer played for the
Orange County Volleyball Club, but performed in relative obscurity at
"I was a lot more focused on (basketball) then," Fuerbringer said from
his seasonal home in Vienna, Austria, where he played last year and led
Bayern Werk to the Austrian Indoor Pro League championship.
Fuerbringer, who led Stanford to the NCAA men's national volleyball
championship in 1997, was an All-CIF Southern Section Division III
selection in basketball his junior year at Estancia, which captured CIF
and State Division III titles under O'Brien. "I learned a lot from Tim
O'Brien," Fuerbringer said. "He's still the best coach I ever had in any
In addition to winning a state high school basketball championship in
1991, Fuerbringer's career highlights include providing the
match-clinching block against UCLA in the 1997 NCAA championship match at
Columbus, Ohio, as Fuerbringer garnered all-tournament laurels.
A collegiate All-American by numerous publications, Fuerbringer set
several Stanford volleyball records and joined the U.S. National team in
February 1998 and played for seven months, before signing a one-year
contract with the Vienna-based Bayern Werk.
But, after an outstanding season in Austria, Fuerbringer returned to
the U.S. National team, but was cut after only three weeks.
"I was a little shocked, but not too much," said Fuerbringer, who, at
age 25, had no Olympic experience, but was probably considered too old
for the program's new direction under U.S. Coach Doug Biehl. "I wasn't
going to be a starter, and, in my spot, they wanted somebody with more
Olympic experience or they were going to go with one of the younger guys