Name: D’naesha Stevens

Age: 15

Sports Played: Volleyball

Home State: Minnesota

D’naesha Stevens, a resilient and determined 14-year-old female athlete from Owatonna, Minnesota, has shown remarkable strength and passion for sports despite facing adversity. In 2022, she underwent brain surgery, forcing her to give up basketball. Undeterred, D’naesha found solace and joy in playing volleyball, a sport with less contact. She has excelled in JO volleyball, demonstrating exceptional leadership skills as a team captain and earning her school team only two losses in the last two years. Despite facing daily pain, D’naesha maintains an impressive 4.0 GPA and actively engages in her community as a church leader and member of the Worship Band.

“What do sports mean to me? They give me hope. They help me not think about pain every day. When I was recovering from brain surgery, the main thing that kept me going was god, my family, and sports. Without any one of those things, I would have been in a hard place. Sports keeps me physically active, which is really important to my overall health and wellbeing. It makes me feel whole and happy.”

D'naesha Stevens, Volleyball Player