Clay Stanley is a volleyball player competing at the 2012 London Summer Olympics for the USA.

An opposite hitter who hails from a family of volleyball stars, captain Clay Stanley aims to make his third Olympic appearance in London, where the U.S. men will attempt to defend the gold medal they won in 2008. Stanley was named the men's volleyball MVP of the Beijing Games after he finished the tournament as the top scorer (146 points) and top server (0.45 aces per set), and the U.S.'s leading scorer in seven of eight matches. He was also the team's leading scorer at the 2004 Athens Games, where he finished fifth overall with 110 points, and his 17 aces ranked second overall. The U.S. team placed fourth.

Stanley injured his left knee during the 2011 World Cup and underwent surgery in December. Instead of playing professionally overseas, he spent the winter rehabilitating at the team's training center in Anaheim, Calif. His return to action came at the NORCECA Olympic Qualifying Tournament in May, which the U.S. won to clinch its berth in the London Games. Stanley displayed vintage form, winning the MVP award and capping the event with a team-high 15 points in the win over Canada in the final. In the 2012 World League, where the U.S. took silver, he was the second overall scorer in the final round with 62 points.

Stanley is the two-time reigning winner of USA Volleyball's Indoor Male Athlete of the Year honor, taking the title in 2010 and 2011. He was the U.S. team's second-leading scorer in 2011 with 373 points in 97 sets played, and he filled in as captain when Reid Priddy was sidelined with an injury for the NORCECA Continental Championship and FIVB World Cup. In 2010, Stanley was the top American scorer with 252 points over the 2010 World Championships — at which he was the Best Server with 23 aces — and FIVB World League. He was the team's fifth-best scorer in the 2009 season.

Stanley also was named the top server at the 2008 NORCECA Olympic Qualifier. In 2007, he recorded 39 aces to tie Priddy for the team lead, and Stanley was the team's top server (fifth overall) at the 2007 World Cup. He was also named the 2007 NORCECA Continental Championship's Best Server, and he was the U.S.'s best server (fourth overall) in the 2007 World League final round. Stanley played only 12 matches for the U.S. in 2006 as he dealt with a knee injury, which came on the heels of a strong 2005 season, when he led the Americans in scoring at the FIVB World Grand Champions Cup. Prior to the Athens Games, Stanley took Best Server honors at the 2004 NORCECA Olympic Qualifying Tournament. He was MVP of the 2003 NORCECA Zone Championships and led the U.S. in scoring at the 2003 World Cup. In 2002, Stanley played in only 75 sets for Team USA but still led the squad in aces and was third in scoring. He also led the team in aces and was second in kills in 2001, his first extended action with the senior team after joining the program in November 2000.

With his appearance in the Athens Games, Clay and his father, Jon Stanley, became the first father and son to play Olympic volleyball for the United States. A volleyball Hall of Famer, Jon was a starter on the 1968 Olympic team, which finished seventh. Clay's mother, Sandra Haine, was a member of the Canadian national volleyball team, played for the Denver Comets of the International Volleyball Association (a professional co-ed league), and is in Canada's volleyball Hall of Fame. The connections continued when Sandra remarried, as her second husband (Clay's stepfather), Marc Haine, was a volleyball all-American at San Diego State. Marc's father (Clay's step-grandfather), Tom Haine, captained that '68 U.S. Olympic team in Mexico City and also is a Hall of Famer.

Former national team head coach and current CEO of USA Volleyball Doug Beal, who knows both father and son, says, "Clay is a special guy. His dad was one of the great players in the 60s and early 70s. Clay is very different from his dad. His dad was a 6-6 middle blocker — which was big at the time. Clay is 6-9 and heavier by about 40 pounds. He hits as hard and high, is a very good jumper, and has one of the best jump serves. Is a threat to score a point every time he serves. Men tend to serve in the low 60 mph range. We've clocked Clay at low 80 mph range. And he can keep it in bounds in a range of places." Jon assesses their respective games by saying, "I was a finesse/skill player as opposed to a power player. I couldn't hit that hard so I had to make sure the ball went where the opposing team wasn't. I had to develop other parts of the game ... passing, defense, and blocking. I was a little more skill oriented than Clay but he has continued to improve."

Seemingly destined for the sport, Stanley originally didn't want anything to do with it. He was never really pressured to play, but he even rejected offers from his dad that they play when at the beach. Clay instead preferred skateboarding and surfing — until his junior year in high school, when he went to the USA Volleyball Boys Junior Olympics and realized the sport truly was fun. He also decided what others long before would have guessed — that he could be good at volleyball. But he couldn't play in high school because Kaiser High School in Honolulu had no boys' volleyball program. So Stanley played basketball and water polo, lettering his senior year.

In college, though, Stanley quickly became a stellar player at Hawaii, where his father served as an assistant coach. Stanley finished his career 10th on Hawaii's all-time kill list. He started part-time as a freshman in 1997, but red-shirted in 1998 to concentrate on his studies. Stanley returned the next year and broke Hawaii's single-match kill record with 50 against UCLA. In 2000, he tied the school record for aces (54), then gave up his final year of eligibility to play professionally. Stanley has played for pro clubs in Russia and Greece since graduating from college. His nickname is "The Bird."


How tall is he? How old is he? Where does he live? Find out here.

Age: 39 years old
Birthday: January 30, 1978
Height: 6' 9"
Weight: 229 lbs.
Birthplace: Honolulu, HI
Current Residence: Anaheim, CA

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