Since September 2019, the NCDA has been recognizing rookie players that make a statement on the court through their skills, leadership, and ability to mobilize a team. After a phenomenal performance at the Buckeye Showcase on September 18th, the first Rookie of the Month this season goes to Nick Kemer from Ohio State. Nick wowed teammates and spectators with full-body throws, game-changing catches, and league sportsmanship. Kathryn Mays took some time to interview this rising player; take a look at the interview below:
Kathryn: Nick, first off, congratulations on this recognition! The NCDA introduced the Rookie of the Month award after your teammate, Ryan Ginsberg, turned heads at his first tournament in 2019. It’s really cool to see you following in those footsteps. How does it feel to be selected?
Nick: It feels great!
K: Starting with some background, what made you choose OSU, what do you study, and what do you enjoy most about it so far?
N: My mom went to OSU, and my brother currently goes here. I’ve always been a fan and wanted to attend. I’m studying finance and enjoy the big campus the most.
K: Shifting into more dodgeball related questions, what made you join (and stick with) dodgeball club?
N: I joined the dodgeball club looking for something fun to do but not expecting much. I ended up having a lot of fun!
K: Did you play any sports in high school? If so, how do you think those skills helped prepare you for dodgeball?
N: I played baseball in high school so that definitely helped me with my throwing and catching abilities.
K: What part of dodgeball has been the hardest to learn? Maybe on an individual level, as a team, your strategy, etc.?
N: I think the strategy has been the hardest to learn. Working with your team and being on the same page is very important.
K: What is one thing that you think led to your early success in the league? What led you to being Rookie of the Month?
N: I think my team is the main thing that’s led to my early success. Having a lot of good guys taking attention and making plays has helped me do the same.
K: Which player do you look up to most on the team and why?
N: I look up to all of the veterans for advice, but I’d say Ryan [Ginsberg] has been one of the biggest leaders and has helped me learn more about the game.
K: Now that you’ve been in the league for a little over 2 months, which matches have been the most fun to play in? Which teams would you like to play in the future?
N: The most fun matches for me have been against Ohio and Cincinnati. I love the competitiveness and close games. I’m looking forward to playing them more as well as playing some of the better out-of-state teams.
K: This has been a pleasure, Nick. It’s really cool to watch OSU’s success continue as an alumni, and from what I’ve seen, the rookies are showing some promising talent! I do have some fun questions for you, starting with: What number will you be wearing this season?
N: I’ll be wearing the number 17. It’s a number I picked a while back and have stuck with it playing sports.
K: What are your go-to pre and post-tournament meals?
N: I have a little tradition of eating a chocolate muffin after every practice and tournament, but other than that, nothing in particular.
K: If you had to describe your play style as an animal, what would it be and why?
N: I would describe my play style as an ostrich. I can be quick and powerful, and it’s a very underrated animal.
K: And finally, is jelly wet? (this is a long-time OSU controversy… very important question)
N: Jelly is wet.
K: Awesome, that’s the correct answer. Thank you so much for taking the time to go through some questions with me, Nick. Congratulations on being the first Rookie of the Month this season. We are looking forward to seeing you on the court!