At 4 feet 10 inches, Deshawnvia Walker is considerably shorter than most of her teammates on the Jordan volleyball team.
But in a game where power and height matter, she doesn’t let her short stature stop her.
Walker, a senior, is the second oldest of seven siblings, has been playing volleyball since she was an eighth-grader at Richards and is involved in JROTC.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
How did you get started playing volleyball?
We played in PE in middle school, and the coach told me I had to come to tryouts. She just said, “Make sure to be at tryouts.”
How did you start playing at Jordan?
(Coach Tammie Barnes) saw me at registration, and she asked if I wanted to play. She said, “You look like a setter.” They set the hitters up for the kill.
Do you ever get any comments from players on the other team about your height?
Most of the time to the front row I have to say, “Scoot over,” so I can see. They laugh a little.
What do you want to do after graduation and college?
I want to start my own business or be a physical trainer. I like the way I feel when I’m in shape, rather being all lazy.
Do you play any other sports?
This year, I plan on doing soccer. One year, I did Raiders with the JROTC. It’s a PT thing. We run two miles and do push-ups and other things. We had to practice every day. Sometimes we had practice during school.
What’s it like being one of seven siblings?
You get used to it. Sometimes, we go out and do stuff together, go out to dinner or something.
Do they all come to your games?
No. They complain about how hot it is in the gym.
Facebook, MySpace or Twitter?
Just MySpace. If I was on more sites, I might forget the password for something, so I just stay on one.
Do you have any nicknames?
The team calls me Mama D, because I’ll fuss at them for doing wrong.
I guess that comes from having seven brothers and sisters.
Yeah. Me and my little brother fuss at each other every morning before we come to school.
Since this is your last year at Jordan, is there anything you’ll miss after graduation?
My coach and some of my teachers, and I’ll miss playing for the team.