April 01, 2017

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) Tennessee guard Diamond DeShields plans to return to the Lady Vols for her senior season rather than entering the WNBA draft.

DeShields said Saturday via Instagram that the opportunity to play alongside a heralded incoming freshman class influenced her decision.

DeShields said ''developing my game further and playing for championship(s) are always part of the ideal plan, but giving these four young ladies the opportunity to be themselves, make mistakes and still have the love they need and deserve is first priority.''

Because she sat out a year after transferring from North Carolina, DeShields is a fourth-year junior old enough to enter the draft. Tennessee's Mercedes Russell, another fourth-year junior, announced last week she also would return next season.

DeShields averaged 17.4 points, 6.4 rebounds and 3.8 assists this past season.

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