Torao Ota, a former member of the NCDA, will describe his experience as a minority player in the league.
Leon Rockamore Jr (CSU): What got you started playing dodgeball? Torao Ota (VCU): I really liked dodgeball back in the day when I was in middle school and I was stoked to find out that people were playing dodgeball at the VCU gym.
L: When did you play in the NCDA? T: I played all 4 years when I was at VCU from 2014 – 2018.
L: Do you still participate in the NCDA even now? T: I don’t but I love watching the highlights that the NCDA makes from time to time.
Kevin Nguyen is a former player of the NCDA, and current captain of the team Final Justice. In this interview, he will talk about his experiences as an Asian-American player and member of the community.
Leon Rockamore (CSU): What got you started playing dodgeball? Kevin Nguyen: Gym class. We had a class called team sports where we would play 4 out of 5 days. I met former MSU captain Ian Childs there and he later on invited me to MSU practices after he started attending college.
L: When did you play in the NCDA? K: I started practicing with the MSU team my senior year of high school. Continued that until I played at CMU during the 2015 and 2016 season.
L: Do you still participate in the NCDA even now? K: Yes. I have been an advisor/mentor to the MSU team for the last couple years.
In the next article in our series, Leon Rockamore interviews Joseph Perez. Let’s take a look at the interview and see what he has to say.
Leon: Where are you from? How old are you? What team do/did you play for? Joseph: My name is Joseph Perez. I am a 21-year-old from Charleston, IL and I am currently attending Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.
L:What was your first experience with dodgeball? J: My first experience with dodgeball was when a TA I had for one of my Biology classes kept bugging our class about joining so I said that I would go to the club meeting that night and I have been going ever since.
The following series, Voices of the NCDA: Looking at Diversity On/Off the Court, has been created to give minority members of our organization a chance to be heard and share their experiences. It allows the rest of the league to hear different perspectives and to highlight the diversity among our members. We will share not only experiences within the NCDA, but off the court as well. The Voices of the NCDA team will be lead by Zachary Rivera (GSU alumni), Leon Rockamore (CSU), and Shadeed Drakeford (VCU alumni). Let’s jump right in and hear their stories.