Banner Elk, NC--As we continue our series of Up Close interviews with the men's volleyball team we meet up with freshman Juan Ramirez. A native of Miami, FL this 5'10 player is spending time as both a setter and a defensive specialist.
1. What made you decide to come to Lees-McRae?
I was looking for a place in which I can find a good volleyball
program to put my volleyball skills to the test. Aside from that,
I found out we were going to be the youngest team in the nation
giving us enough time to improve our skills to make a statement in
the Lees-McRae volleyball history.
2. How long have you been playing volleyball? I've played two years of varsity for my high school and one year of club volleyball.
3. What are your personal goals for this season? My personal goals for this season include improving my game, making a big statement as the youngest team in the nation and defeating a "Big Named" school.
4. What's your favorite volleyball memory here at
Lees-McRae so far? Well, as a freshman I really have not
had a chance to have a big memory.
5. Who has been the most influential person on your athletic career? I've had two people that influenced my athletic career. One of them is my high school coach Ernie Ariell. The other person is Pedro Delgado. He was the Cuban National Setter around the '70's.
6. If you weren't playing volleyball, what other sport would you play? I would most likely be playing soccer. I was born in Colombia, and I've played it for 12 years.
7. What is your major and what do you plan to do with your degree? Business is my major and I still don't have a set plan on what to do with my degree.
8. If you could travel back in time to any point in history, where would you go? The first day of my freshman year, because then I would of being able to play volleyball for a longer period of time.
9. What is your favorite book? The Davinci Code is my favorite book.
10. What is your favorite food? The usual Hispanic foods; rice, beans, steak…etc
11. If you could visit any place in the world, where would it be? I'd go to Brazil because the have one of the best teams in the world for both volleyball and soccer.
12. What is one word that describes you and why? Determined ... usually when I set a goal in my life I find every way possible to accomplish that goal and never give up.
Juan's Story … I was born May 22, 1989
in Medellin, Colombia, the son of Diego and Angela Ramirez. I lived
in Colombia for most of my life, then came to the United States.
My parents wanted to give me more opportunities to succeed. One of
the hardest things I've ever done probably is to learn the English
language, but I finally made it through. Playing volleyball was
never on my mind when I came to this country, but my friend once
told me to try out with him, and we made it. There have been many
ups and downs with my volleyball career. Looking for a good program
to play volleyball and show my skills is how I ended up in
Lees-McRae. Guess all the off-season training helps a lot!