One-on-one with Diamond DeShields

You said you were plagues with injuries in college. Can you talk about that?

The toughest thing I’ve had to deal with is that I had a rod put into my tibia three years ago. And it’s a very traumatizing surgery. The bone was cracked, so had I kept playing it would have been like (the injury of NBA player) Paul George, straight up. Before we decided to put the rod in and I was sitting out (after transferring to) Tennessee. Ever since then I’ve been dealing with it, and it’s OK. I’m still not all the way back, but I’m feeling great.

How do you get over something like that?

It’s mental. You’ve got to learn to manage the pain receptors in your brain. It wants to hurt worse than it really does, and you’ve got to train your mind to block that pain. Because if I let it become part of my day, then I’ll start limping, and everything will be different.

I never had to deal with a major injury, so that was really tough for me physically and mentally.

What would you tell younger self?

(Smiles slightly) Just, don’t be so stubborn. Listen to the people who are trying to help you. I was real stubborn; I didn’t want to listen to anybody – especially if I didn’t trust you. At least be open to more suggestions.

You and Candace Parker talked to each other a lot on the floor during the game.

Me and her understand each other. We had a big hug after the game and she told me to stay in it. It’s tough, it’s a journey.

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