Recently at Miami's Elite Camp, Soderberg spoke with RedHawk Insider about himself personally, his anticipated role at Miami, and his goal of taking Miami to the NCAA Final Four.
Tell us a little about yourself.
I am from St. Charles, Missouri which is about ten minutes outside St. Louis. My dad (Brad Soderberg) was the coach at St. Louis University for about six years and got let go at the end of last year (2007). My early years were in Wisconsin and we moved to St. Louis when my dad was let go as the interim head coach at Wisconsin. After my dad got let go at St. Louis my recruiting options opened up. Since (Jason) Grunk(emeyer) was the assistant coach under my dad he started talking to me and I came on a visit. I really loved the players and the coaches first and foremost. The campus really intrigued me as well. I thought this is the place for me. My high school team went 30-2 this year and got second at state. Had a great year…it was a blast. Besides that, I don't have many other interests besides basketball. I am kind of a boring guy.
Are you going to major in basketball?
If there was a major. I want to go into coaching, though, like my dad. I don't think there is a coaching major. There may be a sports studies major or something. I think there is a coaching minor. We'll see. All depends.
You are not sure what you are going to major yet, just something in the sports department?
Not necessarily sports. I am just going to keep my mind open about things. Being a Division I basketball coach, you do not need a specific major to do that. Pretty much have to know the right people to get into the game. So I am going to keep my options open and see what I enjoy the most. Maybe at the end of my freshman year decide what my major is going to be. I am just happy to be here and help this team get to a NCAA tournament.
What about the point guard options…Miami has you and Carl Richburg.
I am excited to come in. If they need me to come off the bench, if they need me to start, I am going to come in and work my butt off in practice and hopefully earn a spot. If it is as a starter, then great. If not, I will come off the bench and contribute as much as I can. But like I said, I just want to come and bring a MAC championship here, get to the tournament, and from there try to reach a Final Four.
You were Gatorade Mr. Basketball?
It wasn't Mr. Basketball in Missouri. It was Gatorade Player of the Year. Gatorade Player of the Year is a different award they give out to the best player in each state. In the country they give a nation's Gatorade Player of the Year. Then I was also (St. Louis) Post-Dispatch player of the year, my conference's player of the year and it gets smaller and smaller. Gatorade is a pretty special award.
Are you playing in the Deveroes summer league?
I would love to, but I am coming off an injury that happened at the end of my senior year in a sectional game. I went for a lay-up, fell on my hip, pulled my groin and had micro tears in my groin. I was also close to fracturing my pelvis. There was just bruised cartilage and swelling and everything. So I had to finish the season like that and play four games on that. Lost in the state championship game like I said. After that, the doctors at first thought it was just a groin pull. So that healed, but then a couple weeks ago I went to a doctor to get an x-ray and they were worried about the pelvis being messed up. So we got a cortisone shot into my pelvis, which is a strange place to do that, but it had to be done. So I got that done last Friday (June 20, 2008) and then took a week off from doing whatever or playing at all. On Saturday (June 28) I am going to slowly start progressing in the game. In two to three weeks I would be able to play. I will not be able to play now, but soon I will be able to.
What is your dad doing now?
Right now he is still checking options. Most likely he will end up being the A.D. at Loras College which is a Division III school in Dubuque, Iowa. That is most likely what is going to happen. There are some options in basketball, but right now it looks like the Dubuque, Iowa A.D. at least one year and then try to get back into coaching after that.
If he gets a head coaching job, what would you do?
I would stay here absolutely. I did not come here to play a couple years and leave. I came here to stay four years and help get to the NCAA tournament and the Final Four.
Tell me a little something about yourself that other people wouldn't know? What would you like to tell the world?
I am not a very interesting guy like I said before. I am either in the gym, eating, sleeping, and maybe watching some movies. I am pretty boring. I like the Packers, love the Packers. I grew up in Wisconsin. I am a future Packer Backer. Besides that, if you need to find me, just look in the gym.
Do you have a cheese head?
I do have a cheese head.
Well I have one. My brother has one. I've got a couple of Favre jerseys. Bunch of shirts.
Did you go to any Packer games?
Yes, I went to Lambeau this year against the Seahawks. Best experience of my life. Me my grandpa, my dad, and my brother went. Going to Lambeau is unbelievable because it is such a small town and right in the middle of this small town is a huge stadium. It is just awesome. Everything about it is awesome. I went to see them play the Rams in the Rams stadium and it was 75% Packer fans because all the Rams fans sold their tickets.
I am a Bengals fan, obviously, being from this are. I have been to a game where they played the Packers in Cincinnati and they came. Packers, Steelers, and Denver are the ones I notice really bring them out.
Oh yeah, they travel. They really travel.
Thank you very much for your time!
I appreciate it.