I had the privilege to meet up with Carly Fromdahl, a two-sport athlete in high school and a Division I basketball player in college. She loves her sport so much she now dedicates her time to coaching at the club and high school levels. Carly’s path intrigued me since it is very similar to what I’m doing now. She played the two sports I play now, basketball and softball. Since she has been through similar processes, I wanted to ask her how she handled recruiting, how college was for her as a student-athlete, and how she got through injuries.

Carly grew up in Chino, California, and after tearing her ACL her sophomore year in high school, she decided to focus on basketball. Carly had to motivate and push herself to overcome her injury to follow her dreams. After being recruited for basketball, she decided to continue her education and career at Portland State University, playing center and eventually moving to attend Seattle University her junior and senior year. Today, Carly is an elite coach at Emerald City Basketball Association and an assistant coach at Blanchet High School in Seattle, Washington.

I loved getting to chat with Coach Carly and learn about her experiences with the sport mentally and physically. I could relate to a lot of the things she went through during high school. I learned a lot of important things to keep myself motivated, and what to do to prepare myself to become a college athlete like attending college camps and contacting coaches. I am always competitive and definitely have the drive to keep working at my sport. I am still hoping I can achieve my dreams of becoming a college softball athlete. 

“The real success and how you will make it as a college athlete is to be comfortable with yourself and push yourself to work out and get basic reps in.”

Haley: How did you manage your recruiting process? How did you get noticed?

Carly: I went to showcase tournaments and I played on club teams. I started playing basketball my freshmen year of high school and I also played softball. I started playing club basketball my junior year of high school. I also went to camps of colleges I was interested in such as San Diego and Stanford, Santa Barbara, Riverside. I met coaches and players and ended up on a team from San Diego. I went to a last chance tournament in Las Vegas. Coaches talked about me and I ended up signing to Portland State in April of my senior year.

H: How did you make your decision to attend Portland State then transition to Seattle University?

C: I had an idea of Seattle University because I was recruited by them in high school. A few of my teammates and I were transferring and my point guard wanted to go to Seattle and so we both ended up attending Seattle University. It was close and similar to Portland State as I ended up falling in love with the Pacific Northwest.

H: What advice would you give aspiring college athletes?

C: First and foremost is to put in the work. The real success and how you will make it as a college athlete is to be comfortable with yourself and push yourself to work out and get basic reps in. It separates the athletes, the ones who train and those who don’t.

H: How did you balance school and sports in high school?

C: I played softball my first two years of high school then I tore my ACL. So, I focused more on basketball. As a student athlete you keep yourself on a schedule. So, I had to give softball some love then basketball, hang out with teammates, strength training, etc. You learn to prioritize your day even though they were long.

H: How did you keep yourself motivated after tearing your ACL?

C: I really wanted to be a Division-I athlete. I tore my ACL beginning of my sophomore season. I was very devastated when I tore my ACL. It was hard and painful after surgery but I kept working hard. I had to stay mentally focused and keep reminding myself of what my goals were, so I used post it notes to help me. The baseball coach/athletic director would also motivate me by saying that there were no Division-I athletes at our school so that made me want to compete more and have that drive. I got a trainer and strengthened my knee again. I had to keep my eye on the prize and accomplish daily the little things that made me feel better.

“You were always with your team and I made some of my best friends that I have today because of that.”


H: What do you look for in your athletes to know if they can further their basketball career?

C: I look for drive, if I roll a ball out you look for the first person that goes after the ball. I also look for a person that has a defensive mindset because they won’t get pushed around and are tougher. I also want athletes to be competitive and who will get the job done.

H: What do you hope to teach your young basketball players besides the game?

C: Overcoming and working hard when the odds are against you is a great way to grow your character. I want kids to believe in the imaginable so they will believe in themselves so they will take chances, learn new things, and know many possibilities are ahead of them.

H: What was your average day like in college?

C: I would wake up in my dorm with my teammate and go to breakfast club (eating early with teammates) and then go do running drills at 6 am. Once the three-mile run was accomplished in the set time by the coach, you wouldn’t have to be in the breakfast club. After we would attend class we would grab food from the cafeteria. After lunch we would go to practice, lift weights, have team meetings or dinners, finish homework and then you were back at it at 6 am the next day. You were always with your team and I made some of my best friends that I have today because of that.

Carly was very inspiring to me as I too am trying to pursue a college athlete path at a Division I school. She reminded me to keep my dreams and goals achievable but to work hard and go the extra mile and then good things will happen for me. I loved hearing Carly’s stories of going to Seattle University and bringing the team together so by the end they were all sisters. I now know that through playing basketball and softball I will create memories that will last a lifetime and that will help me in my life outside of sports. Getting a job and being a good person, all come from what I have learned by being a student athlete. These lessons and experience will always be with me; no matter how far I go or how long I play.

Each month, one of our interns will interview a former athlete and current leader. Our mission is to connect our girl athletes to experienced ones, to tell the stories of our women’s sports community, and to inspire her own voice. Interested in joining our Editorial Internship Program in the fall? Send a brief letter of interest to by October10, 2018.