McClendon family supports one another in their athletics

Shantel Pettway

As Maya McClendon (12) picked up the volleyball in the humid gym, she wiped sweat from her brow. McClendon then bent her knees, focused her eyes over the net, and vertically shot up from her stance to hit the ball. Every grunt, dive, and serve from McClendon and her teammates gave her more drive to keep the ball off the ground. “I love volleyball. I thinks it’s a high pace game that takes a hundred percent strength and ball control, ”  McClendon said. McClendon’s love of volleyball  scored her an All-State Volleyball Honor in 2011, and she recently visited Nicaragua to participate in the Junior Olympics. But McClendon isn’t the only athlete in her family to be recognized for athletic ability.

Marcus McClendon (9), who plays for the JV basketball team, is another talented piece of the McClendon family. In August, he participated at the Five-Star Basketball Camp.  “We can’t say enough how blessed we are, but we’re blessed,” Marcus said. “We get to travel the world, and do awesome things.”

Deja McClendon, elder sister to Maya and Marcus, is a Manual graduate who now plays volleyball for Penn State University. In 2011, Deja was named an NCAA All-American player. Having an older sister in a college sport, Maya said, did not intimidate her, but inspired her to do better herself. “More than anything we all support each other to go harder” Maya said. “Any sense of competition or motives is found within ourselves versus outside influences.”

The youngest McClendon is Jordan, who is also athletic. Every athlete in the family, Maya said, supported the others and pushed them to do their best. “All four of us are super supportive,” she said. “We have no one to thank but our parents and ourselves.”