Tennessee’s Diamond DeShields on her WNBA Aspirations

Photo Credit: Saul Young/AP/Knoxville News Sentinel

When thinking about universities that historically have been hotbeds for future WNBA talent, schools such as UConn and Tennessee immediately come to mind.

One of those currently at Tennessee is Diamond DeShields, who transferred from North Carolina to Knoxville after her freshman season. The last name may be a familiar one to baseball fans as she is the daughter of Delino DeShields, as well as the sister of another current MLB player.

DeShields definitely has a future career in The W on the brains, but as she told ESPN’s The Undefeated, she not only wants to make the pros, she hopes to get drafted with the number one pick.

Of course I want to go No. 1. That’s very possible for me. That’s always been my goal, to go No. 1 in the draft, not just get drafted.

DeShields also anticipates she will take the road many WNBA players past and present have embarked on—playing ball overseas during the offseason.

I hope to be part of that change and bring more respect to women’s game. But, as of now, you’ll either have to use your education and get a good job, or play overseas and sacrifice time with your family to make a good living.

She cites Candace Parker as one of her inspirations to pursue a basketball career, but acknowledges the feeling around the Tennessee Lady Vols is much different without Pat Summitt, who passed away last year.

Following a legend is hard. Holly [Warlick] has a lot of guts stepping into the head coaching position here. I’m just trying to fight through the transition with Holly and not make it feel like it’s all on her. We’re all in this together to try to make the best out of it. It has been an up-and-down process the last two years.

DeShields also talked about how being born into a family athletes has shaped her as well as a renewed sense of social activism among athletes.

(Original story: The Undefeated)

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