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Student Athlete of the Week – Danielle DeKock

“Being a captain, it’s great and I love doing it. But being part of the team as an individual, as a whole, just making it a team, is super important to me,” said Danielle DeKock.

She’s not just a two-sport athlete, but a two-sport captain. Danielle DeKock holds that title on both the Palm Desert Dance and Golf teams. All while maintaining a 4.37 GPA.

“What makes her so special is that she has the drive and determination to play better every day,” said Palm Desert golf coach Kaitlyn Ellis. “She’s a great student-athlete and is really the face of our program. Her leadership and positive attitude is a big influence on our golf team.”

Danielle has been dancing all her life. But competitive golf is relatively new. After encouragement from her father, Danielle tried out for her high school golf team as a sophomore, a decision she now calls one of the best she’s ever made.

“When I started playing golf, I wasn’t patient at all. I would get super frustrated. With bad shot, comes frustration,” DeKock said. “Dance is a way to show your emotions in movement and I feel like with golf you have to be a little bit more conservative and professional after a bad shot.”

Although the two sports are very different, DeKock and her golf coach Kaitlyn Ellis both agree that Danielle’s dance background has been a big help in her golf game.

“In terms of my swing, I think it really helps that I’m a dancer because it’s quick on your feet. It really helps me to turn with my swing,” DeKock said.

“She’s able to really hit through the ball,” Ellis said. “For a lot of people, golf can be very difficult for people to swing through the golf ball with their hips and momentum. She, with her flexibility, is really able to drive through the golf ball. She’s able to hit it about 230 yards and power like that from a dancer is so important in the golf swing.”

Danielle’s also had her share of success on the dance floor. She won the National Championship last year in the trio, alongside her sister Amy and Palm Desert graduate Claudia Smith. But now as a senior, her focus is on golf.

“This year, I’ve fallen even more in love with the sport,” DeKock said. “It’s just become a dream of mine to play college golf.”

“I’m really excited to see whatever she does, she’s going to excel,” Ellis said. “With her positive attitude and determination, she’s going to do great!”

Even with her dance career likely ending here at Palm Desert, Danielle says it’ll be a part of her for the rest of her life.

KESQ

Local Sports Headlines / Scholar Athlete of the Week

KESQ News Team

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