This edition of Five Questions & Quick Hitters is with recent Midland 2023 commit Carly Carstens. Carly is from Okoboji High School (IA) & played club hoops with All Iowa Attack. Thanks for your time Carly!
1. You recently made your college choice with a commitment to Midland University. Congratulations on your commitment! What led to your decision to join Coach Gilbert and the Warriors program?
I made a lot of college visits this summer. I’m glad I did because I was able to meet a lot of great coaches/players. Midland University really stuck out to me as a great school that fits me on the athletic side and through academics. Coach Gilbert has been really great with communicating with me every week. I felt like I a had a strong relationship with that program before I even committed. I went to watch a basketball practice on my second visit to Midland and instantly felt like I was at home. They are fast paced and fun to watch!
2. In addition to basketball, you are in cross country and track at Okoboji. What do you feel are the biggest benefits that you receive from being a multi-sport athlete, and what are some of the toughest things as well?
I love being busy! Some of the best things about being a multi-sport athlete is switching up friend groups. I have so many great friends in basketball, cross country, and even AAU. Some of the toughest things are on the mental side. Sometimes my body just needs a break. But, after high school and college I will miss having such great connections.
3. Okoboji finished 10-13 last season, and had several close losses. What are some of the things you and your teammates will have to build on to get the team over the hump for your Senior season, and what are some of your personal goals for the season as well?
Last season, we were playing really great early on. Our conference I think is the toughest in the state. (Siouxland Conference) Once we hit mid season, we stopped believing. We got down on ourselves. Our team chemistry wasn’t always there on the court. This season, we are going to be playing really fast. We lost some height on our team from last season, but we are short and quick. My personal goals for this season are to be loud on the court, and handle the ball better.
4. Your club program is All Iowa Attack. You seemed like you were willing to pick up extra games whenever needed and you played a ton of games, and were willing to step in to help teams that were short-handed in addition to your own team. What were some of your favorite memories from your career in club hoops, and what were some of your favorite events from this past season?
All Iowa Attack gave me so many opportunities to grow my game over the summers. I have been with them for 3 years. From Okoboji to Ames it’s a 3 hour drive one way, so I always made the best of my time whether it’s a practice or a tournament. Over my 3 years, I have played on so many different teams. I love doing so because even though I didn’t always know any of the other girls, I would just get to play more basketball. That’s what I’m there for. My favorite AAU memory is playing 7 games in a day on 3 different teams. Everyone seemed short a few players and asked if I could play with them. It was so much fun with the girls! I got asked to play an eighth game, but was so tired. It was definitely worth it though.
5. You do an incredible job in promoting yourself to college coaches, evaluators and writers. What advice would you give younger players on how to maximize their exposure as you've done, using Social Media?
I started the recruiting process going into high school. Yes, it can be stressful, but worth it in the end. Social Media is a great way of getting your name out there. I have a great dad that came to all my AAU tournaments and was able to video me. I love watching and then editing the video. I always get highlight tapes out on social media as soon as possible too. In doing so, I also emailed my videos and upcoming game schedules to college coaches and put it out on Twitter every week. My advice to younger players on how to maximize your exposure is to reach out to coaches/colleges, keep in contact, and get things out on social media.
1. Go-to game day snack or meal: Pasta
2. Favorite opposing High School gym to play in: Sioux Center
3. Strongest basketball skill: Getting to the lane
4. Favorite Holiday tradition: Okoboji 4th of July
5. What item do you lose the most often: Phone
6. Favorite All-Time Coach: Too many
7. Most Annoying Celebrity: Justin Bieber
8. Favorite Social Media: Twitter
9. Quickest player you've had to defend: Bria Wasmund
10. Favorite zoo animal: Monkey