Athlete of the Issue: Devon McDonald

Nicola Gonzales, Staff Writer

When one sees “Big D” Devon McDonald on the Miramonte campus, her small form misleads people to believe she might be a ballerina or a gymnast. However, McDonald is the last thing from a Disney princess. Basketball co-captain and leader of the track team, she is frankly a badass. Not many people can balance varsity basketball, track, and a Criminal Minds obsession all at the same time, but somehow, McDonald does it all.

She began playing basketball in second grade, due to her brother and her father’s love for the sport. She started as soon as she was old enough, eager to please both her brother and dad because their influence in her life. She began playing for Orinda Magic, and then for the past two years she’s played for Cal Stars. McDonald has played all her life, and just recently had to make the difficult decision to run track rather than play basketball in college. She was accepted to Bucknell, and her main event will be the long jump.
“It was a tough decision for me to choose which sport I wanted to continue with in college, but I ended up choosing track because I think I will be more competitive at the college level than I would be if I stuck with basketball,” said McDonald.
Basketball is her favorite sport for many reasons, and the commitment level is so intense at Miramonte, you have to love it. For example, missing practice cant be considered an option because otherwise you won’t be successful or play. Shooting and skill work outside of practice is mandatory. Also, the Miramonte coach Kelly Sopak built the women’s basketball program up from where they previously were, and brought new perks like their team room and a Nike sponsorship.
Every athlete has their lucky charms and ways to cure pregame jitters, and in the case of McDonald, she owns the reputation of being nervous wreck before games. However, the teams’ rituals of playing fun games like hashtag, jam, and dodgeball in their new team room calms her down. Also she always plays with the same type of socks: Nike Elites.
“We have a very high energy style of play so you have to be able to refocus yourself every possession and every dead ball so nerves are soon forgotten,” said McDonald.
Success is McDonalds favorite part about basketball. Winning a big game that no one thought they could, and when everything that they’ve been working on finally comes together in a crucial moment. Miramonte’s rival, Campolindo, would know from experience that this happens in the best of moments.

“My favorite memory of basketball would have to be beating Campo in triple overtime in my sophomore year…definitely the sickest game in Miramonte basketball history,” said McDonald.

McDonald is able to carry her basketball leadership qualities into her second favorite sport, track. She sets a good example for her teammates on and off the court, and realizes her responsibility to the team to always be a good role model. Track is considered more of an individual sport, but has a team aspect that is commonly forgotten. McDonald tries to keep that team spirit alive.

“The importance of a team can be easily be overlooked in track, but because of my background in basketball I know how valuable a supportive team can be,” said McDonald.

Somehow, McDonald is able to juggle basketball, school, and an active social life. Her best friend is junior Carly Gill, and they frequently go on road trips together and watch Criminal Minds. Also, she harbors a love for bubble tea, which she nourishes with frequent visits to Green Bubble. She knows that she loves her sports and wants to continue them throughout her life.

“Sports are what make me happy so I hope to continue with it as long as I can,” says McDonald.

If you’re ever searching for Big D and you’ve searched throughout the basketball court and team room, try the Miramonte track, where she’ll be working on her speed, or Green Bubble, where she will be drinking bubble tea, most likely with Carly Gill. If you’re really desperate go to Willitis, there’s a chance she’s there too.

McDonald has learned a lot of things throughout her life, but the morals basketball have taught her can’t compare to anything like science or math. She has learned how to make a commitment and stick with it, something most people can never figure out their entire lives.

“I have had many highs and lows throughout my basketball career, but without adversity to overcome success would not be nearly as satisfying,” said McDonald.