By ROBIN FAMBROUGH
Written for the LSWA
Danielle Scott grew up to become an indoor volleyball legend who played in an unprecedented five Olympic Games.
There are many ways to describe this Baton Rouge native. She is a two-time Olympic silver medalist and an intense competitor. Scott also is a woman of strong faith, a survivor, proud daughter and a doting mother, all characteristics that define her today.
Those attributes and her accomplishments made her initial appearance on the ballot short-lived for the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame selection committee picking the Class of 2019. She and 10 others will be enshrined Saturday, June 8, at the Natchitoches Events Center in a sold-out ceremony carried live on Cox Sports Television. For information on the Induction Celebration activities June 6-8, visit LaSportsHall.com.
“Anytime you are recognized, it is quite a feat. There are so many deserving people out there and for me to be selected is humbling,” Scott said of her Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame induction with a bright smile. “It is really cool to be back home again and then to be recognized. The class I am with is phenomenal. It’s nice to be recognized for the time I put in. It is even better for me to share this with my daughter, along with the entire family.”
Scott’s total body of work led to her undeniable induction into the International Volleyball Hall of Fame in 2016.
A series of different challenges off the court began as Scott’s professional career wound down. She returned to Louisiana and helped care for her mother, who died of cancer in 2014. Scott’s home and car were damaged by Baton Rouge’s historic flooding in 2016.
Last November, Scott’s sister Stefanie died as the result of a domestic attack by her estranged husband. Scott herself was hospitalized for stab wounds suffered while defending her sister.
USA Volleyball created a Courage Award and presented it to Scott at its Hall of Fame induction held May 22 in Columbus, Ohio. After months of physical therapy, Scott returned to the court as a player-coach in the USA Volleyball Open Division championship.
“There are no words to describe how brave Danielle was on that fateful night last November,” USA Volleyball CEO Jamie Davis said in a press release. “She exemplifies everything good about humanity, and we couldn’t be prouder to have created a new USA Volleyball Courage Award to recognize her heroic actions. She should be a role model for us all.”
Scott insists age is just a number, and she still loves to compete in competitions like the USA Open. Or even on sand volleyball courts in and around Baton Rouge.
With Scott, there is always more going on. She works in the investments field, does speaking engagements, hosts volleyball camps, enjoys age-group coaching for USA Volleyball, and she promotes the sport of volleyball wherever possible, including an April trip to Shreveport, where an Olympic Qualification volleyball is scheduled August 2-4.
Actively helping to coach her nine-year-old daughter Julianne’ in a variety of sports is something Scott also relishes.
“By nature, I am a positive person and I do rely on my faith,” Scott said. “For me, age is just a number. My time with daughter and my family is so precious to me. I am excited about whatever the future holds.”
Regardless of what the future holds, Scott’s volleyball legacy is set. Haneef-Park puts Scott among the top five USA Volleyball women’s players ever, ranking her among 1980s heroes like Debbie Green-Vargas and the late Flo Hyman.