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When Eastern Michigan came in with the first offer, Grant senior point guard Diamond Richardson was shocked.
“The first moment I got the offer, the moment was like, ‘Me? What?’” Richardson said. “But other than that it just pushed me to keep working hard.”
But during that time, it showed Richardson where she could go and that she was destined for even bigger things.
Eastern Michigan’s offer was not too long following her sophomore season at Grant, when she dazzled on the court and averaged more than 20 points, seven rebounds, two assists and one steal per game in Grant’s run to a 17-11 overall record and a trip to the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division II playoffs as a No. 14 seed.
“I kind of was like, ‘Okay, I have potential. I can get out here and ball with everybody else,’” Richardson said.
Richardson kept plugging away, and the results have continued showing as her high school career has progressed.
As a junior last season, Richardson produced more than 15 points, four rebounds, two assists and two steals per game, and six of those outings were performances that featured 20-plus points. Grant once again went 17-11 with Richardson running the show, earning a No. 8 seed in the Division II bracket of the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs.
On May 1, Richardson announced her commitment to the University of the Pacific, joining a program that has won 17 or more games in each of the past two years while highlighting her dominance on the basketball court and as a leader for the Grant girls basketball program.
Since the final buzzer sounded and since that announcement to play collegiately nearby in Stockton, Richardson’s growth has been evident in every aspect of her game, as displayed in a standout effort at Saturday’s Exposure Academy Girls Basketball Showcase at the Slam Academy in Hayward.
“I’ve been working on more conditioning, trying to stay in shape and trying to just get better every day,” Richardson said.
With one more season at the high school level before Richardson embarks on the next chapter playing Division I college basketball in Stockton, she is gearing up for even more success.
Perhaps some history is on the horizon.
“This season my goals are to get 3,000 career points and also be able to dunk in one of my games and beat the school’s record for 49 points,” Richardson said. “I almost did last year with 47 in one game. That’s my goal.”
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