EWU athlete finds motivation in past tragedy

By RayJaun Stelly, Contributing Writer

Despite everything he has gone through, EWU sophomore cornerback D’londo Tucker remains humble, strong and determined, showing off a bright smile and providing an endless supply of positive energy.

D’londo Tucker’s father had a huge impact on him, his brother DeeShawn Tucker, and many kids in the Seattle area as well. At every game, no matter what field or gym, Herman Tucker’s voice and presence was felt. But at 17 years old, D’londo Tucker’s life changed forever when Herman Tucker was shot and killed outside of a Motel 6 in SeaTac.

Not only did it devastate his family, but it affected the community as well. Although D’londo Tucker felt a great deal of emotion knowing his father was gone forever, he uses him as motivation to pursue his dreams.

“My dad told me since I was little how I’ll be in the NFL, so I have to make him proud,” said D’londo Tucker. “My way of staying motivated is knowing my dad is watching over me; he’s had my back since day one. He was my dad, best friend and hero all in one.”

D’londo Tucker did not miss one class or practice despite the death of his father, refusing to use the tragedy as an excuse. “Keep striving for your goals, because that’s what he would want for you,” Dee Tucker, D’londo Tucker’s mother, said. That mentality helped lead D’londo Tucker to a football scholarship at EWU and, most importantly, a free education.

“It was very important for me to never give up, because I couldn’t take two losses. The guys who took my father won the battle but it’s war out here; I can’t let them kill two birds with one stone,” D’londo Tucker said.

On the field, D’londo Tucker takes every emotion he feels out on the opponent. As he returned from injury in 2015, he showed why he would not be stopped. Against Montana State and Sacramento State he recorded a season high of three tackles, as well as recording his first career interception against the Hornets. He broke up two passes against Oregon and Northern Arizona, while recording his first career sack against Idaho State on a cornerback blitz.

“It’s tough without my father here, but God gives his toughest battles to his strongest soldiers,” said D’londo Tucker. “I strive to be the best because that’s how I grew up. This isn’t about me. I’m doing this for my family and dad, which is why I work hard until I can’t anymore.”