DeShields Following Friend To Tennessee?

By Ran Northam Posted April 18, 2014 at 3:45 pm

Story originally posted April 18, 2014, 10:19 a.m.

Nearly 24 hours after news broke that Diamond DeShields is leaving Carolina, only speculation of where can be drawn at this point.

The National Freshman of the Year has not yet spoken out about where she’s going to play next year. WCHL tried to reach DeShields again Friday, but her phone was turned off and her voicemail was full.

Her Twitter account, @DDeShields23 has not been a source or information yet as to where she’s headed.

Someone with the Twitter handle @RolandMumford seemed to know something no one else has heard when he replied to that tweet with #rockytop.

espnW reporter Mechelle Voepel wrote late Thursday that she wasn’t shocked when she heard about DeShields’ decision. She said she wouldn’t be surprised if the “perfect” team and situation DeShields thought Carolina was when she was on the outside looking in as a high schooler didn’t turn out to be exactly what she expected. In an interview with DeShields later in the season, DeShields told Voepel that it was very hard leaving Atlanta after the Georgia Tech game because it was so close to home.

With college kids, especially freshmen, you always have to keep homesickness in mind.

Other speculation lends to looking where other star athletes are going. DeShields came in with the “Gang of Four” as the group was deemed (DeShields, Allisha Gray, Stephanie Mavunga and Jessica Washington), and she certainly remained the top player of that group. However, her friend from Georgia, Te’a Cooper looks like she’s headed to Tennessee after decommitting to UNC. She said she had Carolina locked in since a visit her eighth-grade year, but before this season, she announced she opened her recruitment to all schools.

As of 3:30 p.m. Friday, that tweet was no longer on Cooper’s account.

DeShields transfer means she has to sit out one season. Cooper is a rising senior and both would hit the court for the first time in Tennessee Orange for the 2015-16 season if this is the chosen path.

DeShields’ has a connection to Tennessee as well. Her mother, Tisha, was an All-America runner for the Vols.

Another, albeit further far-fetched speculation, looks at this year’s espnW HoopGurls No. 1 prospect, A’ja Wilson. She announced Wednesday that she will play at South Carolina next year. The Columbia native said it was an easy decision to make, staying at home.

DeShields tweeted Wednesday that she, “Can’t wait to see where my dawg @_ajawilson22 decides to go to school. She’ll make ANY program more than happy! I’m tuned in.”

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