Monday, 27 May 2024

T is for T.J. and Tattoos

In the captivating world of volleyball, there is one name that resonates with fans – T.J. DeFalco. This outside hitter for the U.S. Men’s National Team has left a lasting impression on the volleyball community with his skill and dedication.

As I watched T.J. play in the Volleyball Nations League on, I noticed something new and intriguing about him. Tattoos! T.J. had transformed his left arm into a canvas of artistry. This unexpected change piqued my curiosity, and I knew I had to delve deeper into this transformation.

I had the privilege of sitting down with T.J. in Anaheim to discuss his decision to get tattoos. We talked about his inspiration, artistic vision, and the personal meaning behind each tattoo. What I discovered was a touching tribute to his family, encapsulated in ink.

Let’s journey into T.J.’s world of tattoos and uncover the hidden stories beneath the surface.

The Evolution of T.J. DeFalco

T.J. DeFalco, now 26, began his volleyball journey as a member of the U.S. Boys Under-19 Team back in 2014. Over the years, he has grown and matured, establishing himself as an Olympian and a force to be reckoned with on the court.

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But this year, something changed. T.J.’s left arm became adorned with a collection of tattoos, each one representing a different family member. It was a striking evolution that caught the attention of fans and commentators alike.

Unveiling the Stories Behind the Ink

The tale behind T.J.’s tattoos is a heartwarming one. He explained that his artistic admiration and love for his family were the driving forces behind his decision to get inked. The idea of selecting characters that closely resembled each family member resonated with him deeply.

Let’s take a closer look at the significance of each tattoo:

  • Tarzan’s mom cradling Tarzan represents T.J.’s mother, Gina, a figure of love and support.
  • Scrooge McDuck, throwing money down on the sidewalk, embodies T.J.’s father, Torey, symbolizing the sacrifices he made for his seven children.
  • Gangster Tweety Bird, complete with a volleyball, represents T.J.’s sister, Teagan, capturing her vibrant and spirited personality.
  • Popeye embodies T.J.’s older brother, Tony, showcasing his strength and reliability.
  • Baby Dumbo signifies T.J.’s other little sister, Taryn, reflecting her shy and loving nature.
  • Baby Groot, a lovable wrecking ball, symbolizes T.J.’s younger brother, Tanner, who combines strength and affection.
  • Lastly, the future tattoos of Cera from “Land Before Time” and Baby Moana will represent T.J.’s older sisters, Tia and Talia, respectively. These characters encapsulate their unique qualities and personal journeys.

A Family United by Ink

When T.J. revealed his tattoos to his family, the reactions were priceless. Laughter, astonishment, and acknowledgment of the artistic beauty all filled the room. The tattoos become a tangible representation of the unbreakable bond shared between T.J. and his loved ones.

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Beyond the Ink: T.J.’s Volleyball Journey

While T.J.’s artistic journey was captivating, we couldn’t help but inquire about his performance on the volleyball court. He expressed pride in the effort and dedication he has poured into the sport, emphasizing the importance of consistency and hard work.

T.J.’s success is a testament to the countless hours he and his father spent traveling for club matches, reaffirming their commitment to the sport. As he continues his journey in Asseco Resovia Rzeszów in Poland, T.J. plans to complete his collection of tattoos.


Q: What inspired T.J. DeFalco to get tattoos?

A: T.J. has always had an admiration for art and the ability to create something meaningful on the human body. The idea of representing his family through tattoos came to him as he got his first Olympic rings tattoo. This inspiration fueled his desire to create a visual tribute to his loved ones.

Q: How did T.J. choose the characters for his tattoos?

A: T.J. carefully selected characters from movies he loved as a child, ensuring that each character closely resembled a specific family member’s personality and journey. The chosen characters represent the unique qualities and experiences of his loved ones.

Q: What was the reaction of T.J.’s family to his tattoos?

A: T.J.’s family was thrilled and touched by the representation of their unique qualities on his arm. Laughter and appreciation filled the room as they recognized themselves in the artistic renderings.


T.J. DeFalco, a prominent figure in the world of volleyball, has recently embarked on a new chapter of self-expression through tattoos. Each tattoo on his left arm represents a beloved family member, encapsulating their essence and significance in his life. The intricate details and thoughtfulness behind his tattoos are a testament to T.J.’s love for his family and his appreciation for the art form. As T.J. continues to excel in his volleyball career, his tattoos serve as a reminder of the unconditional support and unity that fuels his journey.

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To witness T.J. DeFalco’s mesmerizing tattoos and the stories woven within them, head to

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