Jeremy Casebeer prepares to serve at the 2019 AVP Championships in Chicago (Photo credit: Josh Glazebrook)
Jeremy Casebeer is known by beach volleyball fans as The Lorax.
The nickname fits since The Lorax is the title character of the 1971 environmentally-themed Dr. Seuss classic and Casebeer, the latest sports star to become an EcoAthletes Supporter, developed an early appreciation for the environment and climate change.
“Growing up [in California] I spent a lot of time in nature camping and hiking but didn’t understand or become concerned with climate change until high school,” recalled Casebeer. “My environmental science teacher, Jose Caballero, had a special gift connecting with students and explaining climate change in a relatable way. We took a field trip to Santa Cruz Island, one of the most untouched parts of the state, to work at the field station planting endemic species. Seeing first hand the difference between the pristine ecosystems of Santa Cruz Island and those of urban California, I began to understand humans’ impact on the environment.”
Casebeer’s interest in the environment and climate change continued during his college days at UCLA — he minored in Environmental Science while playing a key role on the Bruins volleyball team — and has deepened during his nine-year career as a pro beach volleyball player on the Association of Volleyball Professionals (AVP) tour. He partnered with The Surfrider Foundation last year to organize the first-ever beach cleanups at AVP tournaments.
Looking for ways to bring the climate change fight to new and bigger audiences, Casebeer is excited to join the roster of EcoAthletes Supporters.
“I became an EcoAthletes Supporter because sports has given me so much in my life, and I believe that sports can play a vital role in fighting climate change by bringing people together,” noted the Volunteer Assistant Coach for the UCLA Women’s Beach Volleyball squad. “EcoAthletes is helping to overcome the knowledge and action gaps by educating and enabling pro athletes to speak out on climate change so we can raise awareness of the issue and solutions. We will not avoid climate catastrophes solely through the work of hardcore environmentalists. We need to bring people together from all walks of life, collectively reimagine what is possible, and take action together. Sports does this like nothing else.”
The man with the big serve — Casebeer has been voted Best Server on the AVP Tour three times, most recently in 2019 — not surprisingly went big when he was asked what success would look like for EcoAthletes: “Success would mean athletes were able to inspire sports fans, teams, and other athletes who were previously uninformed about climate change to care about the issue and to take real action.”
You can reach Jeremy on Instagram at @shakesbeer_ and on Twitter at @J_Casebeer