Destinee Hooker is a volleyball player competing at the 2012 London Summer Olympics for the USA.

One of the most explosive players in the world, Destinee Hooker makes her Olympic debut in London. She's coming off an impressive 2011 season, in which she was named MVP of the FIVB World Grand Prix, which the U.S. won for the second straight year, and Best Spiker at the 2011 FIVB World Cup, where the U.S. took silver and qualified for the 2012 Olympics. Hooker was the second-leading scorer overall in the World Grand Prix final round (101 points) and third overall at the World Cup (185), where she scored a personal-best 37 points in a match against China. She made her national team debut at the 2010 World Grand Prix, where she played in 50 of 52 sets, started the last 13 matches of the event, and was the second-leading U.S. scorer in the final round with 76 points. Hooker became a full-time starter at the 2010 World Championships, and led the U.S. in scoring with 219 points (fifth overall).

Hooker came close to competing in the 2008 Olympics — in track and field. After winning the NCAA high jump national titles in 2006 and 2007 while at the University of Texas, she placed sixth in the event at the 2008 U.S. Olympic Trials. Hooker took the collegiate track and field season off to train with the U.S. volleyball team, but in April 2008, unsure of her chances make the Olympic squad, Hooker shifted her focus back to the high jump. She returned to the UT track and field team in 2009 and proceeded to win the indoor and outdoor NCAA national high jump titles, becoming the second woman to win three NCAA outdoor high jump titles, and the first female since 2004 to take the indoor and outdoor high jump crowns in the same year. Hooker gave up her final season of track and field eligibility to play professional volleyball in South Korea. Most recently she has played pro volleyball in Brazil.

Hooker was among the candidates for the 2008 U.S. Olympic volleyball team following her junior season at Texas, in which she was named a first team All-American by the American Volleyball Coaches Association and Volleyball Magazine, and led the Longhorns to the NCAA tournament semifinals. After coming up short in her Olympic bid, Hooker returned to Texas and turned in an even better senior season, as she was again named a first team All-American by the AVCA and Volleyball Magazine, but was also named Most Outstanding Player at the NCAA tournament, where Texas fell to undefeated Penn State in the championship match. She left Texas with 1,821 kills, the third most in the school's history. Hooker was a second team All-American as a sophomore and earned All-American honorable mention as a freshman.

Destinee credits her older sister, Marshevet, with getting her into sports because she wanted to be just like her older sister. Destinee even graduated from high school a semester early so she could compete on the Texas track and field team with "Vet," who is three years older (and seven inches shorter). The sisters led Texas to the NCAA indoor and Big 12 outdoor conference team titles in 2006, and hoped to do damage at the outdoor NCAAs, but Vet was injured at regionals and didn't compete. When Destinee won her first NCAA title that year, it came a year after Vet won the 2005 outdoor NCAA 100m title and helped the Longhorns earn the NCAA title. The older Hooker stuck with track, and ran some of the fastest 100m and 200m times in the world in 2011. She placed fifth in the 200m at the 2008 Olympics, and was on the gold medal-winning 4x100m U.S. relay team at the 2011 World Championships.

For her excellent season with the U.S. national team in 2011, Hooker was named the 2011 Sportswoman of the Year by the San Antonio Express-News, her hometown newspaper. It was her third such award, as she was honored in 2009 after leading Texas to the NCAA volleyball title match, and also in 2005 after completing a stellar high school career in volleyball, track and field, and basketball. Though she actually shared the 2005 award with Marshevet, Destinee is the first three-time winner of the award. While at Southwest High School, Hooker was named team MVP of her volleyball, track and field, and basketball teams at least once; averaged 22.8 points, 16.2 rebounds and 7.3 blocks during her senior year of basketball; was a two-time state champion in the high jump; and left school as the No. 8 volleyball recruit in the country as ranked by PrepVolleyball.com. And she was a four-time Academic All-American.

It's no wonder from where Destinee and Marshevet get their athletic abilities. Their mother, Marvetta, played college basketball for St. Mary's University in San Antonio. Their father, Ricky, also played basketball at St. Mary's and, in 1983, was drafted in the sixth round of the NBA Draft by the San Antonio Spurs. He also played professional volleyball in Europe. "Whatever sport we're in, they said, 'The Hookers never quit. Our family does not quit. So if you're going to do this sport you best stick it out,'" Destinee said about her parents, adding, "Every sport I was in my parents were able to help me and support me. They knew what they were talking about actually." In March 2012, Destinee became engaged to Steven Coulter, a personal trainer.




FACTS

How tall is she? How old is she? Where does she live? Find out here.

Age: 29 years old
Birthday: September 7, 1987
Height: 6' 4"
Weight: 161 lbs.
Birthplace: Frankfurt, Germany
Hometown: San Antonio, TX
Current Residence: San Antonio, TX


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