Bishop Dunne Freshman Shines on the Basketball Court
Freshman Diamond Jewl Wilcott sparkles on the basketball court, thanks to her two older brothers. “They started to play basketball in a church league when I was little,” Diamond says, “I didn’t really like basketball but I wanted to do whatever they did. Still, I was kind of chubby,” she admits. But as soon as she got into the sport, she found she was a natural.
Diamond adds, “By the 5th grade I was really enjoying myself, and then Coach Earl spotted me – he trains Lasani Johnson – and I began to work with him.”
The result is obvious: Diamond is a freshman starter on the girls’ varsity basketball team, and currently has the most points per game average. Last year, as an 8th grader, she was key in the championship game that brought home a trophy for the 8th grade girls’ DPL League.
Her father played basketball in community college, and knew how to make her a better player, she says. “He had me running hills, for endurance, and taught me how to do a layup.”
Her parents met in college while attending the same church. Her mother was a track star in high school, so Diamond feels she gets her speed from her. Her father, Michael, is 6’5” and her mother, Jacqueline, is 5’5”, so she hopes to end up somewhere in the middle for her adult height. “Taller is definitely an advantage in basketball,” Diamond says.
She came to Bishop Dunne from St. Anthony’s, and was happy to be coached by Cyrous Meyers, father of Drew Myers, last year, “Because I’d already played with his daughter on an AAU team, so we already had chemistry,” she explains. She noticed that there were no middle school girls’ basketball championship banners hanging in the gym, and so her goal became to put one up there. The championship game last winter was close, with the Falcons down by a point at the half, and Diamond admits she was nervous, “But I felt in my heart we were the better team and we would win,” she says. The final score: 39 – 36, capping an impressive 20 – 5 season for the Lady Falcons. Diamond scored the most points.
Coach Myers said after that game, “The girls played with heart. All year we’ve stressed taking God with us, to be dedicated, and mentally strong. We played aggressively, and in the end, I think the team with the most endurance won.”
Becky Sivinski, Associate Director of Athletics, says, “The first day of PE when I called her name from the roll, ‘Diamond Wilcott’, she very confidently said, ‘I am Diamond.’ She was the 8th grade All Star Volleyball player from Bishop Dunne last year in the DPL All Star volleyball game.”
Diamond’s goal is to stay focused, to get the best education she can, then attend college and – hopefully – play basketball. With team practices three days a week and games on two other days, it’s often hard to get all her homework done, but she knows that’s important. Mr. Tom Perez is her favorite teacher, because, she says, “He’s funny but he teaches so clearly that I understand math!”
Her dream colleges are UCONN and Stanford, but she’d be happy to stay closer to home and attend and play for the University of Texas at Austin. “It would be awesome to play for a Division 1 school, and win a championship ring,” Diamond says. Until then, she’s happy to study hard and practice hard, sometimes jumping in on the boys’ practices. “They come into the gym right after our practice, so I hang around and do some drills with them.”
Diamond is one Falcon who already shines, like her name.