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3 Jul 2015

UPDATE: Missing Father Makes AAU Volleyball Member More Dedicated

UPDATE: Missing Father Makes AAU Volleyball Member More Dedicated

UPDATE: Destiny Washington and her Austin Juniors Volleyball 17 Navy traveled to the 2015 AAU Girls' Junior National Volleyball Championships from Texas to compete in the 17 Club division.  

Destiny stopped by The Zone during pool play to take a photo with her team and we got a chance to talk to her about her experience. 

"Being at Nationals make me feel at home," Washington said. "Volleyball is my life and I love to play volleyball and whenever I'm with my team playing I just feel comfort and happiness." 

One of the days of competition happened to fall on Father's Day this year, which was especially tough for Washington. While others were celebrating with their fathers, she was thinking about what she wishes she could say to her dad. 

"I would want to say that I love him so much and I miss you," she said. "I would want to say a lot but I would probably just burst out crying."

Washington knows that it's important to stay positive. 

"I don't know what I'm going to say, but I know I'm going to see him again," she explained. "You just have to keep having faith."

Her mother couldn't make the trip with her to Nationals so she said that not having either of her parents there was hard, but she was still having fun and knows that her dad would be happy that she's playing and getting to experience Nationals for the second year in a row.

After she stopped to talk to us on the first day of competition, her team won six out of their nine pool play games, advancing to the Red Division bracket on championship day. They won their first game in three sets against EDC, advancing to the semifinals against NIVA Volt. They were defeated by NIVA in two close sets and placed 27th out of 115 teams in their division. 

Congratulations to Destiny and her Austin Junior Volleyball 17 Navy team! Hope to see you again next year!

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Written by: Amanda Szylin

In May of 2012, Destiny Washington’s worst nightmare was brought to life. Her father, Adrian Washington was missing. No one knew where he was and he wasn’t answering his phone.

After Washington’s mother, Ebony Kilgore, told her two young daughters that their father was missing, the oldest daughter, Destiny, was the one who held the family together.

For a year, she was so strong and full of strength,” I am thinking that part of her strength was disbelief. I believe that she thought in her heart that he would return.”

A year went by and the family still hadn’t heard anything new. Destiny began to lose weight, become withdrawn and become despondent. She began to struggle with her classes, but still maintained a “B” average.

Washington said she knew she had to stay strong for her family.

“I had to stay strong because I knew that's what my Dad would want me to do and I had to do everything in my power to make him proud even though he wasn’t here,” Washington explained. “He told me to always take care of my mother and my little sister and I will always try to do just that.”

Now 17 years old, Washington has played volleyball for the past seven years and said it was the one thing that truly helped her through her ordeal.

“Volleyball is a sport that I am so passionate about,” she said. “It helps me build relationships with coaches and

 teammates. I love the game of volleyball so much that I will do everything in my power to keep pushing and striving to be the best I can be!”

The Pflugerville, Texas resident also has a passion for fashion. She hopes to have the opportunity to play volleyball in college and then attend FIT in New York to build a career in the fashion industry.

Washington will be participating in the 2015 AAU Girls’ Junior National Volleyball Championships with her club team, Austin Juniors Volleyball - 17 Navy.

“I want to come [to Nationals] because it's a wonderful experience for me and my team to prove to everyone that we are capable of winning and being a great team,” she said. “The overall tournament is a great tournament. I had so much fun last year and this year I'm ready to play some more!”

Officials still don’t have any information on her missing father and it’s a constant struggle for Washington and her family. She has learned a valuable lesson from this unfortunate circumstance, though.

“I've learned that no matter how many obstacles you go through you can always overcome them or get through them by just believing that you can do it.”

We are so happy to have you join us in Orlando, Florida for the 2015 AAU Girls’ Junior National Volleyball Championships! Good luck to you and your team! 

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