Canyon Ceman has recently retired after a 16-year career that made him a beach volleyball icon. He’s been inducted into the Stanford Athletic Hall of Fame (2007), was named Most Outstanding Player on the AVP (2000) and Best Setter on the AVP (2002). Always an intellectual player, Ceman was able to extend his career by several years by using his head while his body started to feel its age.
A hugely successful student, Ceman graduated as valedictorian of Mira Cost High School in 1990 with a 4.0 GPA. He then moved on to Stanford University, where he was a four year starter. An Economics major, Ceman was named Player of the Year by the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) in 1993 and was a three-time All American. In addition to his BS in Economics he holds a Master’s degree in Sociology from Stanford and an MBA from UCLA.
After college Ceman spent a little bit of time on his indoor game by playing professionally in Belgium during the 1995-96 season and with the US Men’s National Team during the 1994-95 season. But the majority of his professional volleyball career has been on the beach, both in the AVP and the FIVB.
Over the years he partnered with several well-known players, including Mike Whitmarsh, Dain Blanton and Brian Lewis. His domestic wins total 7, and his best international finish was a silver medal at the World Championships in 1997 with Mike Whitmarsh.
“I think that my secret to longevity in this sport has probably been ball control and being a thinking man’s player while having a passion for the sport. A lot of other players that in the last five years had the same projectory that I have had would have hung it up earlier, but I like the life that goes along with this. It gives me the flexibility to do all of the things I like in my life. I also have good ball control and know how to win, and sometimes, physically, I don’t have it, but with those skills you can compete with anyone.”
Now that his professional volleyball career has reached its conclusion, Ceman is using his brains to earn his bread. You can check out his consulting business at Canyonceman.com.