NSU Writers: Wings and Rings

By Kori Levingston, NSU Student

Mapps has his map and knows exactly which path through life he wants to take, but there are a few obstacles in the way.

“We knew that you don’t get to be world champions without a struggle”-unknown.

For someone who has been through so many obstacles throughout a short period of their life, Desmond Mapps also excels and works his way to the top in everything he most cares about.

Born on December 29, 1992, Mapps was raised by a single mother along with three brothers and three sisters in Dallas, Texas. There wasn’t much parental motivation in his household and being that he was the oldest child, he also had no older sibling to look up to.

I asked Mapps, “What would you say motivates you to do what you do?” He replied, “What motivates me most is knowing that I could be the first in my family to get a bachelors degree, and also knowing that I have the potential to go pro in track.” As said in the quote above, great champions come from struggles and Desmond Mapps childhood and upcoming life to adulthood was full of struggles.

As a child, he was bullied because he was different and generally did the right thing despite those around him. Having the desire to be accepted, Mapps joined a gang at a very young age in order to be protected and fit in. He later noticed that his poor decisions led him to being arrested and kicked out of high school. This was a life changing situation for him and he instantly got his act together.

Some people use their talent as a way to make a turn around in their life and that’s just what Mapps did. In high school, he played football and won the district title for two consecutive years. His positions were wide receiver, cornerback and safety for Garland High School, and he was named 2010 Defensive Player of the Year. He was also a three-time district champ in track and field, which later led him to where he is now, but this was only the start of his journey towards success.

Mapps determination to be great doesn’t compare to mine and yours, most of the time, when people struggle they use that as an excuse to not follow their dreams but he decided to use that as motivation. To get started, Mapps was a part of the Arkansas Baptist track and field team temporarily before being offered a full ride scholarship to join Arkansas at Little Rock in 2016. “Being that you were a top athlete, how did you end up signing to a smaller university,” I asked. He replied, “At Arkansas Baptist, the head coach told everyone who was interested in me that I had no intentions on transferring, so that they could keep me for themselves.”

Although this was an immense experience, “ Every time something seemed to be going good in my life, a small burden would come along,” Mapps said. Shortly after receiving the offer from Arkansas at Little Rock, he lost the only person he could depend on, his backbone, the person he would give his last dollar to, his best friend on July 4. Still to this day Mapps is effected by this loss and dedicates every race to him.

Being patient is what got Mapps to a stable place he can now call home for the next year. “Patience, grasshopper. Good things come to those who wait.” In the act that he was patient, he was offered a full ride scholarship at Northwestern State University and feels it’s the right place for him to finish off his last year.

“As I continue on the journey I am looking forward to going pro in Track and Field and returning as a top 20 athlete in the nation heading into my 5th year of school,” he said.


Source: Cassandra Clare, City of Glass.