Oct. 9, 2006
FRESNO, Calif. - Sophomore Danon Beatty (Bakersfield, Calif.) is one of the newest members of the women's tennis team. She is a fierce competitor on the court who will be important to Fresno State's success this year. But if you don't know Beatty, you wouldn't know she has a much quieter side.
For the past several years, Beatty has been learning American Sign Language - and she loves it! She enjoys attending events for the deaf and meeting new people there.
"I will go anywhere I can if it means I can work on my sign language," Beatty said. "I want to become an American Sign Language teacher at either the high school or college level. I also want to become a part-time interpreter and work in a deaf school where I can help children. "
In a recent Q&A with gobulldogs.com, Beatty related other things that make her unique:
Who are some of your favorite sports heroes and why?
Roger Federer is one of my favorites. He has an amazing attitude because you can't tell if he's winning or losing . He also has the best strokes in the game and great footwork. I also like Steffi Graff because she has the best backhand slice I have ever seen in my life on the women's pro tour.
What are some of your favorite athletics moments?
One of my favorite athletics moments was when Agassi retired a few weeks ago at the U.S Open. He has been a wonderful player for over 15 years and has inspired so many American children and youth to pick up the sport of tennis. So when he retired I cried like a baby.
Another favorite athletics moment was when I won the Girls 16-and-under National Championships in San Diego. This was the biggest tournament I have ever won and I was only 15 years old, so it was a huge deal for me at the time. I will never forget the feelings that came over me when the girl I was playing hit the ball into the net on match point. I dropped my racquet, put my head in my hands and just started crying. It was amazing!
If you weren't playing tennis now, what sport would you like to be playing?
I would be a gymnast. I used to participate in gymnastics and it something I really enjoyed. I loved it and never wanted to stop. But one day after practice, my mother asked: "Danon, do you want to play tennis or do gymnastics?" I responded: "Gymnastics! I don't like tennis." But instead she just decided for me, and so here I am, playing tennis.
What U.S. states have you have visited?
Texas, Arizona, Tennessee, Georgia and Louisiana.
Of these places, which was your favorite?
In Tennessee, I went to Memphis for my brother's wedding, which was a very exciting time for our family. I thought Memphis was beautiful and the people were very friendly.
What is your favorite food?
My favorite food is probably pizza even though I never eat it (trying to be healthy, of course). My favorite restaurant is the Olive Garden because it's all you can eat bread sticks and salad! How can you go wrong with that?
Have you ever experienced an embarrassing moment on the tennis court?
Yes, I got really sick during a tournament once. At one point, I went over to the side of the court and started vomiting. It was gross, a horrible experience and a very embarrassing moment. But I went back onto the court and finished the match. So reflecting on the occasion, I am more proud of myself than embarrassed. I definitely can laugh about it now.
Do you have a valued possession?
I still have the blanket I was given as baby. It is valuable to me because my brother and I both have one and it reminds me of the times we would relax on the bedroom floor and talk all night. My brother is the most important person in the world to me.
How do you balance all your schoolwork, social life and tennis?
It's very difficult. I have become a very organized person and I stick to my schedules. It's most difficult when the team travels, but I always find a way to get things done.
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