She shines bright like a diamond.
But don’t let the sweet face fool you. Winter Haven’s Diamond Battles plays with a mean streak.
“Beastmode, that’s what comes out of me and once I put that jersey on that has No. 3 on it," Battles said. "I just go to work.”
That mentality has helped lead the Lady Blue Devils to back-to-back state championships. They are a favorite to win a third thanks in part to this spitfire guard who has grown up in the program.
“She’s been here since fifth grade," Winter Haven head coach Johnnie Lawson said. "So it’s been a pleasure to watch her grow. Ups and downs, some crying, some rough nights. I’m really proud of her.”
That progress is paying off. Battles pulled a fast one on the college hoops recruiting world when she recently verbally committed to UCF. She liked their style of defense and the fit.
“I didn’t want to wait any longer," Battles said. "I knew that’s where I wanted to go, so I decided to commit.”
Now she can focus on her senior season as her Lady Blue Devils team tries to three-peat.
“Something I’ve always wanted to do was create history at this school," she said, "and winning No. 3 and having three rings is something that would be so amazing for me and I really want to work for it.”
The senior point guard is proving diamonds really are a girls basketball team’s best friend.