D1Softball, through the D1 Players Society, has partnered with Tennessee outfielder, Kiki Milloy to bring you an inside look at how growing up in sports has influenced her.

To start off, the year that I was born was the same season that my dad won the Super Bowl, so that was a great way to come into the world.

I think that it is pretty apparent that both of my parents are the main reason why I am an athlete. My mom, Claudine, was a track All-American in college and my dad, Lawyer, played 15 years in the NFL and was a 4x Pro-Bowler.

With both of my parents being high-level athletes, the only thing that I knew was greatness. From the beginning, my parents taught me that I needed to work to get to where I wanted to be. Of course I had those times where I didn’t want to listen to them, but looking back at it, I realize that everything they were saying was 100% correct. Honestly, I don’t think my parents would’ve cared if I played sports or not, they just wanted me to be great at whatever I did.

More on Milloy

I am from Woodinville, Washington, which is about 25 minutes outside of Seattle. I am number two out of four girls, so my dad definitely was the definition of “girl dad” before girl dad was a thing. My older sister, Amirah, is 24, my younger sister, Tia, is 15 and my youngest sister, Breya, is 10.

Growing up, we would go wherever my dad was playing for football season, then come back to Washington during the off-season. I wasn’t really old enough to remember Buffalo that well, but I loved living in Atlanta. Living in Georgia was such a different experience from living in Washington. In Atlanta, I lived in a neighborhood and all day and night I would just be running around with the neighborhood kids, living my best life. Honestly, moving halfway through the school year when I was younger was such a great learning tool for me because I had to adapt and make new friends and leave my old ones. I think moving so much helped me be okay with change in my older life.

Luckily, when my older sister and I started playing little league, we were living in Georgia and at the time softball wasn’t super popular back in Washington. Living in a state where the sport of softball was big made it so fun, I remember getting to wear different color socks and the parents bringing cowbells to our games which just brought so much energy and life to the game. Playing in Georgia was really where I fell in love with the game.

A Family Affair

I started playing softball because my older sister played softball. Everything that I did when I was younger was because I wanted to be like my older sister. Even the past couple years of watching her play for Washington amazed me. I owe playing softball to my sister being that influence in my life.

During little league, I had the opportunity to be coached by my mom. It is kind of crazy to think about that now, given that she has never played softball in her life. I think that it shows her dedication to my sisters and I because she coached all of us in little league. She learned a game that she had never played before, just so we could have a good coach. Now, with all the years that she has been watching my sisters and I, she definitely knows a lot more about the game.

My dad was one of my assistant coaches in high school. As a freshman, we butted heads a lot because he was constantly talking to me and I wasn’t able to switch him from dad mode to coach-mode. As I progressed through high school, I was able to appreciate having him around more to be with me. He was a great person to talk to because he was there for everything. Having him coach me allowed him to learn about me in a different way as a player, so now when I need to talk to him in college, he knows exactly what I am thinking and feeling because he experienced that single-handedly.

Why I Play

My parents 100% still inspire me. I didn’t realize it while I was playing travel ball, but seeing how much they do for my two younger sisters makes me grateful to have them as parents. They truly would do anything for all four of us. At one point, there were four of us in the house and I know that it was not easy driving us all around to practice and making sure that we get to where we need to be, but they did it. I am especially inspired by my mom. It wasn’t easy having 3 kids while my dad was playing football, but she has always said yes when any of us wanted to do anything, even when it might’ve been tough. She is the glue of our family. I continue to play for them because I know they want me to use my platform to inspire other young women and girls.

Before the USA trials, I didn’t plan to continue to play softball after college. After that experience, I’m not quite sure what I want to do in my future. I still have 2.5 years left of college, so I think I will make that decision when the time comes.

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