GVB Mentor

Olympic Hopeful Mentors DeSoto Volleyball Team
Posted on 06/24/2020
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The DeSoto High School  girls volleyball team enjoyed the opportunity to discuss their sport with aspiring Olympian and professional volleyball player Chiaka Ogbogu.  With the postponement of the summer Olympics due to the world-wide coronavirus pandemic, Ogbogu decided to reach out to younger players to encourage, motivate and mentor those interested in pursuing careers in the sport.   The University of Texas alum who played alongside DHS standout Morgan Johnson currently plays professionally for the Turkish club Eczacıbaşı VitrA.  She also competed in the 2019 World Cup for Volleyball as well as participated in the 2018 Pan American Cup and the 2018 and 2019 FIVB Volleyball Women's Nations League.

Introduced by Tochi Osuji, owner of DeSoto’s My Choice Spa, Ogbogu meets weekly with the team and coach, sometimes joined by Johnson, to share tips on nutrition, training, personal marketing, and other areas of interest for the students.  “I wanted to reach out to mentor specifically young African American girls to help the visibility factor that is lacking in our sport due to a lack of African American representation across the board”, she explained.  “I have loved the time I have had getting to know the girls and the staff.”

DHS sophomore Hope Briggs (Right Side Hitter) shared the sentiment.  "Talking with Chiaka has shown me that we can help to inspire others along with ourselves to be the best version of ourselves on and off the court."

Junior Dynasty Coe (Middle Blocker) agreed. "Chiaka has also impacted me and us as a volleyball team by pouring all of her knowledge and experience into us and guiding us in the right direction. She's also an inspiration, because it's like if she started where we are and got as far as she is, so can we."

Senior Kyla Gonzales-Jackson (Setter) concurs "These past few weeks talking to Chiaka have made me realize that you can do it all, because she is able to play the sport that makes her happy while at the same time helping other girls so that we can one day be where she is."

Head Coach Reed confirmed, "the opportunity afforded to our program here at DeSoto H.S. has been phenomenal in that the girls get to pick the brain of an Olympian at the sport that they love.  Not only does she open herself up to the girls, but she also provides insight into future goals they may have and how to accomplish those.  I feel blessed as a Coach and am grateful Chiaka chose DeSoto Volleyball to pour into.”

Weekly Zoom meetings are planned to continue anticipating an opportunity to meet face to face with the hope of a volleyball season this fall. 

Go Eagles!