Off The Court With Carly Cramer

PURDUESPORTSDOTCOM Freshman defensive specialist Carly Cramer is one of eight newcomers on the 2009 Purdue roster.
Freshman defensive specialist Carly Cramer is one of eight newcomers on the 2009 Purdue roster.

Aug. 14, 2009

Freshman defensive specialist Carly Cramer sat down with for a quick chat about practice, a unique pregame ritual, collecting hotel key cards and being a role model.

How is practice going?
It's different than the way I have ever practiced; it is just a different kind. I like it though. It's fast paced.

Q: Was it what you expected?
Yes, because the girls at team camp earlier in the summer told us what it was going to be like.

Is there a drill that is new to you that has made an impact on you?
Pepper series. You just pepper and pepper and pepper with your partner and it's intense. If you don't go after the ball you have a consequence for it, and its intense peppering for a long time.

What are your hopes for this season?
I have a lot of hopes. I want to play and I want to play well. Ultimately, it would be nice to be the libero, and I can try for that, but I want to play.

You type the national anthem to yourself as a pregame ritual. What exactly do you mean? How did you start it and why?
I have a thing...sometimes when people are talking, I kind of type it out with my hands. I don't know why. Before every basketball game or volleyball game we would stand there holding hands and I would just type the whole thing out. I just have to do it. It's kind of a pre-game warm-up thing. I just have to do it.

Do you do it on the hands of the people next to you?
Yes. They always just think I'm playing around with my hands but I'm really doing, "Oh say can you see..."

You say you have a key card from every hotel you've ever stayed at. Tell me about that.
Every club tournament that we went to, the key cards we got, the ones we didn't have to return, I kept every one. I have a big stack of them.

What do you do with them?
I just have them. It reminds me that I was thankful to be able to go to all of those places.



Do you know which one is from which place?
No. but they are in order from when I got them because I keep them in a little thing. So there's just a little stack of them in there, in order. I hope to continue to do it at Purdue if I can.

You said you wish you could fly.
Yes! I would love to fly. Sometimes, like, right now my feet are killing me. I wish I could just fly everywhere. In my dreams, I fly all the time. I just pick up running and start flying.

You want to be a veterinarian after college. What's your favorite animal?
I don't know. They are all so different. I like stuff about all of them. I like panthers and tigers because they're ferocious. I'd like to be each animal for a day, just to experience it.

So would you like to work at a zoo?
I kind of want to be a traveling vet. If there is a Barnum & Bailey's circus or something I could work with tigers. But I don't know if I want to specialize in anything yet. My mom wants me to specialize in horses maybe if I make it that far. But I don't know yet.

Your favorite quote is: You only live once, but if you live right, once is enough. What is the significance of that quote and how do you apply that to your life?
I think that everything we do is like live today like today is your last day. Tomorrow is a gift. Everyone always says, "You only live once." So, you need to have no regrets and do what you want to do. So if you live it right, once is enough.

You say you never let food go to waste.
No! I always finish what I have on my plate. I hate when people get big amounts of food and don't eat it. Like my friends, they will get big amounts of food and I'll finish their food because I just hate it when people throw food away. I just think you shouldn't have gotten that much, or that there are starving people everywhere!

You have said that being an IHSAA student-athlete role model is your proudest accomplishment. What was that about and why is it so important to you?
Somebody from your school is chosen that has been a leader during all four years. They have been a role model to all kids, don't get in trouble, maintain a good GPA and are well-known in the community. There are a lot of kids that were nominated for it. When I was younger I would always see those people on the posters and think, "Wow, they're really good." I wanted to be like them. When I got on the poster I was just thinking, wow, this is really happening -- I am one of those people. And it was just nice to know that people recognized my accomplishments and how hard I worked. I got to meet a lot of other athletes. Then I did the Youth Speakers Bureau and spoke to younger kids about how tobacco is bad for you.

So speaking of athletes and role models, you've met John Wooden.
Yeah, I'm from Martinsville, and our court is actually the John L. Wooden court with his big signature on it and everything.

So you just bumped into him on the sidewalk or what?
No, he was at our high school actually. When I was younger, like 8 or 9, he was at our high school and a whole bunch of people were there and I got his signature and stood there and talked to him for a little bit.

So tell me about Derek Jeter. Why is he your favorite athlete? Do you just think he's cute, or do you admire him as a player?
Both. He is very good at his sport. He is well known for what he does. I just like the way he plays. He is all over the place, all the time. And he's good looking, so that helps.

Speaking of good looking, if you ever met your favorite actors Cameron Diaz or Patrick Dempsey, how would you react?
If I met Patrick Dempsey, I would take lots of pictures with him and of him! If I met Cameron Diaz, she's really pretty and she's a good actress and all, but Patrick Dempsey... I'd have a lot of fun with that.

Talking about inspirational, you say your Grandma has been important in your life? Why?
Yes. As I grew up, ever since I can remember, my grandma was there. I played basketball, volleyball and tennis growing up and she was at every single event. Even if it was far away, she would be there. It was kind of like she was everything to me. I finished high school and I'm her youngest grandchild and she went to everything. I admire that so much. I want to do that.

Talking about family, your sister Sara plays volleyball at St. Joseph's College. Did she kind of help you into the sport?
Yes. She is the person who has taught me the most about volleyball. I'm very competitive and tough when it comes to stuff and she made me that way. We would always play. We would be in the backyard peppering just us two when I was like seven. She would always make me better. She is four years older than me. When I was a freshman in high school and she was a senior, our team won state. I dressed and she played so it was kind of like, "WOW". I looked up to her a ton.

Speaking of college volleyball, why Purdue?
Mainly, the coaches. They were so personable. Everybody told me when I took my visit, "You'll know it Carly, you'll just know it when you're done." After I took my visit I was like, I love this place. After being up here for a week for team camp, I really wanted to come back. I don't know if I would have been like that at any other college. At the other colleges I visited, it just wasn't the same. I liked all the girls when I came and talked to them. Mainly, Purdue is good and they have what I want to do. It's a good education and a good volleyball program. My main concern was I want to go somewhere where they want me. Other schools were like yeah, you can come if you want, but Purdue was like we want you. They made me feel like they really wanted me to be here.

Ok, so fast forward ahead three years from now. You're going into your senior year. What do you hope you have accomplished at Purdue or hope to accomplish at Purdue?
Being libero. An NCAA title. And a great bond with the girls on the team.