Volleyball has taken Danisha Moss all over North America, and she hopes it can bring her to Europe one day.
For now, the St. John’s standout and Toronto native finds herself at home in Queens.
“Toronto is a melting pot,” Moss told amNewYork. “I grew up with a very diverse background of people. I felt I had to go to college somewhere that was similar to Toronto in that way and no other city is as diverse as New York.”
Moss, a graduate student and the daughter of Jamaican immigrants, is among the best blockers in the nation — her 116 blocks ranks tied for 14th in NCAA Division I volleyball. She has trained with the Jamaican national team and aspires to play professionally overseas after graduation.
The Canadian’s journey to NYC began at age 13, when a club coach approached her as she was about to grab lunch with friends.
“We were walking, and this guy [who] was driving out of the restaurant parking lot turned around and jumped out of the car,” Moss said. “He asked if I had ever played volleyball, which I had only seen a few times, and asked me to come and try out for his team.”
The decision was a no-brainer for the self-described “tomboy.” Moss always loved sports and was never interested in being a “girlie girl.”
“My mom would hate the fact that I would go outside wearing baggy jeans and hoodies,” she said. “My mom and my sisters are very girlie. Growing up, I was just not about that lifestyle.”
Moss has grown into her role as the Red Storm’s captain at the net, calling all the plays for the team’s first line of defense. Over her three seasons with the Johnnies, she’s learned what makes a great blocker.
“Good timing,” Moss said emphatically. “You have to know how to read the play early and anticipate where the ball is going.”
Moss raised her profile as a standout up front. She set a St. John’s (12-14, 4-7 Big East) record with 168 blocks last season.
Numbers like that put the professional ranks within her grasp. Legally, Moss can’t contact European agents until the end of the season, but she plans to reach out to friends playing overseas.
“I don’t feel like I’m fully ready to give up volleyball,” she said.