Casey "Boom" Patterson is a husband, a father and a pro beach volleyball player from Huntington Beach, California. He has had a successful career stateside and abroad both in indoor volleyball and beach volleyball. We were able to speak with Patterson when he was on the east coast at the 2013 DO AC Pro Beach Volleyball Tournament stop of the AVP Tour, which he won with partner Jake Gibb.
The 2013 DO AC Pro Beach Volleyball Tournament was hosted by AVP and IMG for the first time in Atlantic City after 16 years, bringing spectators, visitors and most importantly business back to the city.
Elizabeth Tam (ET): As a west coast volleyball player, how does it feel to be on the east coast?
Casey Patterson (CP): It's awesome. The first tournament I won professionally was on Coney Island, so I love the east coast. I play well over here—you get the California vibe, but a little bit of New York sass. Everyone’s kind of got a NY edge to them, so it’s a lot of fun.
ET: Do you think that is what makes you play better on the east coast?
CP: Yeah, it definitely helps because the better the energy from the crowd, the more energy it brings when I play, so I love it. I love it when people talk trash. Last match we had a guy coming up to the side talking trash to me, telling me to do something and then I had two aces in a row and said 'Thank you, yeah you got those for me!' I love the fire the east coast brings.
ET: You are very vocal during your matches, where does that come from?
CP: That comes from a lot of passion, I love this sport. I played with Brazilians indoors and on the beach and they bring that same kind of fire. I recognized that is the same style I wanted to have and that I enjoyed watching, so I brought that as much as possible. I love talking trash while I'm in the air swinging, as I dig the guy, whatever, I’ll talk trash the whole time.
ET: I think the funniest thing i heard you say today was "Fudge, sorry Jake."
CP: Yes and I did say fudge. I like to be very verbal when I play and so it's like there is no inner monologue, I’m just spitting it out. It's like that Austin Powers scene when he’s talking and they’re like ‘uh… Austin we can hear you...’ that’s kind of how I play—so sometimes it’s good and sometimes it’s bad.
ET: What is one of the craziest or funniest things you've said on the court?
CP: I think the best things I’ve ever done is when defenders like to run line and I’ll hit a cuddy and I’ll tell them their entire full name if I know their full name. There's a guy I know, who's a buddy named Ryan Merrill Lunnon, and I'll say his while name in the air as he runs a line. That’s probably the best thing I've ever said in the air - the guy's whole name and telling him to not run line and not hit any balls.
ET: How has the transition from indoor to outdoor volleyball been? What made you decide to switch?
CP: I had a very successful indoor career, but my passion was in the beach. I love having my shirt off and playing in front of a ton of people that had that fire and loved being there. I switched over and it's been the greatest move I've ever made. This past year is the first year I haven’t played indoor volleyball, so I just work on getting super healthy and work on my dance moves and the fire I bring on the court, now I’m killing it.
ET: Is the reason you like to be shirtless because you think you have an awesome six-pack?
CP: Duh! (jokingly) No, it just comes with the lifestyle. You just learn to love to be half naked all the time because that’s what we do. I’m more comfortable in a pair of board shorts than in anything else. Dressing up... I enjoy it, but I love being half naked.
ET: Tell me about your family life.
CP: My wife played college volleyball also and professionally overseas. [During] our first year of being married we played in Sweden together. We have two boys with the same suave-hawk as me. I take them in the backyard, bring the clippers and cut my hair and their hair all at once. I love them! They’ are four and two [years old], they fight all the time and it’s an adventure to say the least, I love it!
ET: So who pulls off the Mohawk the best?
CP: Me, for sure! Me and Cash, my second - he's got bleach blonde hair like me. He looks like a mini-me; it's awesome, so he'll come in a close second.
ET: What has been your biggest accomplishment to date?
CP: I would say winning my first grand slam ever this year, we [Jake Gibb & Casey Patterson] won a gold medal in Shanghai, China and that’s something that very few people are able to do and I did it on my first one with Jake so that's #1 for me.
ET: I heard the reason you don't drink is an interesting story.
CP: I don't drink because I am LDS or what people like to call Mormon, so [it is] because of my religion I don't drink alcohol at all. Plus it helps with being an athlete because I don’t want to drink at all anyways, so it’s super easy for me not to drink. Plus when I party and dance I don’t need it because I just go crazy. When everyone else is drunk, who cares what they think so I just go after it. It’s a professional choice as well as a religious choice, so it's easy for me not to drink.
ET: What is your signature dance move?
CP: A little bit of pop and lock, I like to do the crypt walk a little, my signature is kind of like the body worm--let it flow down and bring it back; its complicated. I can't give you all the secrets.
ET: Any interesting volleyball stories you want to share?
CP: Travelling internationally is like The Amazing Race without the travel stipend and a camera crew to save you if you're dying. I've been stuck at a layover going from Japan to China for a tournament. I got stuck in Korea and had to spend the night at a hotel. I had the worst food poisoning of my life, I thought I was going to die—I had a fever of 104, I was throwing up every 5 minutes even if I had nothing in my stomach, thought I was going to die, barely made the flight back and got a 9th place. So I was excited that we not only we got a top 10 finish, but that I didn’t die. I could be dead in the middle of Korea and nobody would have cared or even know what happened. That’s kind of the most interesting story that has happened to me in the past few years.
ET: Any words you live life by?
CP: Play with passion--do whatever you are passionate about and do it 100%!
Thank you Casey Patterson for taking the time to speak with us and congratulations on your win at the 2013 DO AC Pro Beach Volleyball Tournament!
For more information on Casey Patterson, please visit: http://www.avp.com/players/men/casey-patterson
For more information on the DO AC Pro Beach Volleyball Tournament, please visit: http://www.avp.com/events/atlantic-city