Devon Newberry’s journey through sport and injury
In October of 2021 in my junior year of college, I found out that I had torn several parts of my shoulder. When I learned this, I knew that with my level of pain and the level of tears, I would have to undergo surgery. I chose to finish my junior year season at UCLA and then got surgery on June 15th of 2022. I spent the next few months in physical therapy every single day to get the strength back in my shoulder in time for me to compete in my senior season in February.
Unfortunately, the road to getting back took a little longer than expected, but I was lucky enough to compete in my first game back in March. My second game back was against USC, which tends to be a quite competitive game. In the early side of the first set, I went up to take a big swing and heard a huge crack in my shoulder. My shoulder immediately went numb, and I knew something had happened. I continued to play that match with my left arm and ended up winning the match. I got an MRI a couple days later and received the news that I tore different parts of my shoulder.
When I heard the news, I was extremely disappointed but knew that I had to get right back to physical therapy if I wanted any chance of getting back to my season. Even though I knew the chances were slim that I would be competing in my senior season, I wanted to put myself in the best position to do so. I spent the next 6 weeks out of practices and doing work on my own and slowly getting stronger and stronger. Eventually, I was allowed back on the court and finished my season undefeated.
The whole journey of my shoulder taught me a lot about persevering through hard times and relying on others for positivity and hope. Leaning on my teammates during those times deepened my relationships with all of them and created a special bond that I would not have had if I hadn’t suffered through my injury. I am extremely grateful to be apart of the UCLA community, my friends, and my family for everything they have given me.
For now, I am competing on the AVP tour and continuing my physical therapy after taking a small break after the season. I don’t know what my future is in the sport of beach volleyball, but I know that the community around me will support me in any endeavor I venture on!