THS volleyball player signs college offer

Published 2:45 pm Monday, December 3, 2018

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

ALABASTER – Thompson High School head volleyball coach Judy Green still remembers the first time she met now-senior Diamond Gilliland three years ago.

After hearing Gilliland had an interest in volleyball, Green approached her in the auxiliary gym in the old THS building, and asked her if she’d be interested in trying out for the team.

After receiving no answer from Gilliland, Green walked away unsure if Gilliland would be interested in joining the team.

Fast forward to her senior year, and Gilliland is coming off a season highlighted by 223 kills and 77 blocks, which played a big part in helping her team clinch a spot in the Super Regionals.

“As soon as she got involved in volleyball, she fell in love with a great sport,” Green said.

Also after getting involved with the THS volleyball team, Gilliland shared one of her dreams with Green: To earn a college volleyball scholarship.

On Dec. 3, she made the dream a reality as she signed a scholarship with Snead State Community College while surrounded by friends, family members, teammates and coaches in the THS cafeteria.

“We’re very thankful and blessed to be able to share this moment with Diamond today. This is a very special day for her,” said THS Principal Dr. Wesley Hester. “It’s extra-special today just because Diamond has worked so hard and she has come so far to have this opportunity, and I couldn’t be happier for her. Diamond has done what it takes.”

During the ceremony, an emotional Gilliland thanked all those in attendance for supporting her over the years.

“I want to thank everyone for supporting me through my whole high school career in volleyball,” she said.

“Today is Diamond Gilliland day. It’s about you, it’s about your family, it’s about your destiny. Diamond has put in a lot of work. All of us are thrilled for you,” Green said. “(Snead State) Coach (Angie) Sanders, thank you for believing in Diamond and giving her an opportunity to come to your school and be an impact player and difference maker. The best part about Diamond is she’s kind, she’s funny, she loves people, she’s a great teammate and she understands what it takes to be a part of a team.”