Catching up with Jamie Carey
April 23, 2009
The image of Jamie Carey celebrating a 3-pointer is a fitting one. She ranks first in Women's Basketball history in 3-point field-goal percentage, and motored the 2003 team to the Final Four in Atlanta.
Carey originally played at Stanford, and set the school's single-season record for 3-pointers made with 81 during her freshman year. She missed the 2001 and 2002 seasons with post-concussive symptoms.
Carey then revived her career with the Longhorns in 2003. A year later, she was the recipient of the Jim Valvano Comeback Player of the Year Award, given annually to a college basketball player who has triumphed over adversity.
A two-time All-Big 12 player, Carey graduated in 2005 and then played for four years in the WNBA with the Connecticut Sun before retiring last week. Carey currently lives in Fort Collins, Colo., and is a Basketball Development Director for Triple Crown Sports.
Carey recently talked with TexasSports.com about her time at Texas and beyond.
The University of Texas wasn't your initial choice, but how did you connect with the UT community once you became a Longhorn? Growing up in high school, I just always wanted to go to Stanford. I had so much respect for their academic program and had a great experience there, but I was not expecting to be blown away by Texas like I was. I never want to choose between Stanford and Texas, but if I had to, it would be Texas. I have UT on my car, and in my office, and in my house. It's who I am now. It's a very unique place in how prideful it is, and I never understood that until I got there. It is its own world, and when you leave it, you miss it, and you long to go back. My heart is there, and it always will be.
Everyone can see UT's facilities, but what else exists to make those tools work? UT just welcomes you and helps you understand the responsibilities that you have as a representative of such an institution. All the traditions, and everything that goes into it, makes you feel proud to be a piece of what they do. It's like a bandwagon, and all you want to do is jump onto it. Look at the resources -- the school puts so much into you that it makes you want to put even more into them. As an alumnus, I hear from somebody from the University of Texas at least every three months. It's a place that is easy to fall in love with and stay connected to. They care about you for the four years that you are there, but they care even more about what you do after.
What was the experience like being a student-athlete at Texas? It's just an environment that you can thrive in. A lot of other things just don't measure up to the experience I had at the University of Texas -- not even close, and I played in a WNBA Final. It's just not the same.
What was so special about being on the 2003 team that advanced to the Final Four? It's one of those teams you think about and get teary-eyed. I've played basketball my whole life, and I've been on one special team that just got it -- and that one was it. What was so special about the team was that we as players were tougher on each other than any coach. If something wasn't working at practice, we would meet at the Rec Center and fix it. We just pushed each other so hard. And the other thing that was special was the level of belief in each other, and the level of confidence that when we stepped on the floor, we were going to win -- it was just a matter of by how, and by how much.
Do you ever reflect on the run that got you guys to Atlanta, including the historical piece of Jody Conradt's 800th win? Absolutely. Yeah. I can still tell you specific plays that happened in that game. I remember them pouring the confetti on Coach. I remember the look on Coach's face. She always preaches that it's not about her, and I know that's how she truly feels. But that night it was about her, from our point of view.
How did playing in the WNBA compare to college? The style of play is just so different. (Sun coach Mike Thibault) had such a strong NBA background that he brought a lot of the men's game to our structure. It was a unique experience.
Is the career you're pursuing now what you really envisioned for yourself when you were in college? No, not at all. I kind of stumbled into it, honestly. I don't know if I really knew what I was going to do. I got my master's degree in Sport Management, so I knew I wanted to stay involved in the game. I honestly expected to be living in Austin and not in Colorado. But this is fun. I feel fortunate.