First and foremost, HAPPY 30TH BIRTHDAY MATTHEW JOHN ANDERSON!
To celebrate his big day, we decided to share 30 interesting facts you need to know about one of the world’s best players.
1. Matt is an Aries
According to this site, Aries people are courageous, determined, confident, enthusiastic, optimistic, honest and passionate. Aries men are the for better or for worse and through hell and high water type of guy. They take commitment and vows seriously and will be a loyal and devoted partner. He is generally considered most compatible with Leo, Gemini, Sagittarius, and Aquarius.
2. Matt is SINGLE
We wonder if he ever uses Date Apps. Swipe right Mattie! LOLZ!
3. Matt is 6′10″
At 2.08 meters, he is very tall indeed.
4. Matt is an Olympic medalist
He made his Olympic debut at the 2012 Olympics with Team USA 5th after losing to Italy in the quarterfinal round. Matt and Team USA bounced back at the 2016 Olympics by taking home the bronze medal.
5. Matt loves Russia
He’s been playing in the Russian League with Zenit Kazan since 2012. With Zenit Kazan, he has won several domestic, continental and international tournaments including 3 gold medals at the prestigious CEV Champions League.
Zenit and Matt have built a very strong relationship that both parties decided to renew his contract for the 2017/2018 season.
6. Matt Is An Advocate For Autism
He has nephew with autism and Matt is very open talking about in public to raise awareness. As a matter of fact, he holds a volleyball tournament every year as a fundraiser for autism research. He also got a tattoo on his wrist for his nephew Tristin.
The world’s sweetest uncle indeed!
7. Matt Can Play Left And Right
He has always played as an outside hitter for Team USA but Coach Speraw decided to make him play as an opposite hitter for a few years now. The switch paid off!
8. Matt Wears #1
Just like in our hearts, he wears #1 for Team USA and for his club team.
9. Matt On IG
He is the MOST FOLLOWED American indoor or beach player on Instagram. As of today, he has more than 242,000 followers.
10. Matt <3 Selfies
Every now and then, he surprises his IG followers with a selfie. When he does, the post gets thousands of likes. The most recent selfie he shared received more than 39,000 likes.
11. Matt Loves Cars
If you love cars too then there’s a chance you’re going to click with this handsome athlete. As far as we know, he has a few cars back in the US. When he is away, his friend and former USA player, Evan Patak, takes care of his babies with wheels.
12. Matt In Korea
He made his professional debut in the Korean League and stayed there for 2 seasons (2008-2010).
13. Matt In Italia
After Korea, Matt spent 2 seasons in the Italian League. He played for Tonno Callipo Vibo Valentia from 2010-2011 and transfered to Casa Modena the following season before inking a multi-million contract with Kazan.
14. Matt Makes Bank!
As a professional athlete, Matt is one of the highest paid volleyball players in the world. Rumor has it he makes at least US$1 MILLION DOLLARS per season with Zenit.
15. Matt Went To Penn State
In case you didn’t know, Anderson played at Penn State in college and was named as the Most Valuable Player valuable player by the NCAA in 2008.
Before we forget, it’s the same college Aaron Russell went to.
16. Matt’s Original Position
Before discovering his all around skills as an outside hitter, Matt’s original position was a middle blocker.
We bet you didn’t know that!
17. Matt’s Battle With Depression
In October 2014, Matt publicly announced that he decided to take a break from his professional career due to “depression”. His decision made headlines in the volleyball world and Matt also received tons of support from his supporters.
The world got sad but also looked forward to his return.
18. Matt Is A Multi-Awarded Athlete
USA Volleyball has recognized Matt as Best Indoor Male Volleyball Player 4 consecutive times within the last 5 years (2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015).
19. Matt Can Dance
When he does, we just don’t know what to do.
20. Matt And His Moves
These gifs will prove how adorable he is on and off the volleyball court.
Look at how he warms up, the way he waves, the way he smiles and the way he plays volleyball.
21. Matt Is A World Cup Champion
Matt led Team USA to win the 2015 FIVB World Cup where he was named as the tournament’s Most Valuable Player.
22. Matt’s Hometown
In case you didn’t know, the birthday boy was born in Buffalo, New York and his hometown is West Seneca, New York.
After winning a bronze medal at the 2016 Olympics, he was honored by his hometown.
His jersey was retired by West Seneca West where he graduated in 2005.
23. Matt & His Tattoos
We know that he loves tattoos and we’ve lost count already on how many he has.
Take note, each tattoo has a special meaning. One of them is for his father who passed away in 2010.
24. Matt’s Vertical
As far as we know, he has a 40 inch vertical or even higher.
25. Matt’s Siblings
Matt has 3 older sisters named Jennifer, Joelle and Amy with one older brother named Joshua. Both Joelle and Amy both played volleyball in their college years.
26. Matt’s Birthday Post
As of half an hour ago, he posted this on IG:
27. How Matt Spends His Day
Three years ago, Zenit released this video featuring Matt and how he spends his day in Russia.
It’s a must see!
Here’s a throwback pic of Matt.
29. Matt <3 Volleywood
Back in 2012 Matt and Max loved us. Hope they still do up to this day.
Thanks Jim Manzana for this pic!
30. Matt In Tokyo
He will play at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo – that’s the plan.