<
>

Sammi Sweetheart on soccer, 'Jersey'

10/12/2012
Ray Tamarra/Getty Images

The best athlete on the Jersey Shore cast?

That’s easy, according to Sammi Giancola, aka Sammi Sweetheart.

“I nominate myself,” she says, noting that she’s the only member of the tanned and toned cast to play a college sport, having played four years of college soccer at William Paterson University in New Jersey. “I’m a known athlete. My job in college was soccer, so I’m the true athlete in the house.”

Mike and Ronnie, hit the gym as much as you’d like -- you’ve got nothing on Sammi.

“The boys are pretty athletic; we obviously like to work out,” said Giancola, who recently started her own sportswear brand for SXE Fitness. “Vinny [Guadagnino] played some basketball. But I would say I’m the only known athlete.”

Sammi recently spoke with ESPN Playbook about her soccer career, the role of sports in her upbringing and the time she met Derek Jeter.

ESPN Playbook: You're a big sports fan. What role did sports play for you growing up?

I have two sisters, so there were three girls in my family, and my dad always wanted a boy, so I was always like the boy of the family. My dad was a huge Yankees fan, huge Jets fan -- he’s really into sports. He had all sorts of memorabilia and cool things around the house. I would always just sit and watch Yankees games with my dad. Growing up, I was just very involved with the Jets, Yankees and sports because of my dad.

You’ve played soccer forever, right?

I was the only one in my family who did sports. I played softball, track and soccer in high school, and then I played soccer in college. I love sports and I love working out. I love soccer. I still play in a women’s soccer league with friends I played with in college and high school. There’s an indoor league in the winter and an outdoor league in the summer, so I go whenever I can make it.

Don’t recall ever seeing that on the show.

Of course not. Nobody wants to see that, I guess. There are a lot of things people don’t know about us. There’s a lot more to us than what you see on "Jersey Shore."

Have you had a chance to meet any famous athletes since gaining fame?

I’ve met a whole bunch. I actually went to a Yankees game about a month ago, some of us from the show, and we were sitting in the front row right near the dugout where the players bat and hang out when they’re batting next. It was really cool because Derek Jeter said hello to me and Ron, and so did Robbie Cano. It was such a surreal thing to be able to meet those guys.

Your dad must have been jealous.

He was so jealous. You have no idea. My dad is such a huge Yankees fan. When I told him that, he said, “I can’t believe it.”