WATSON – By her own admission, Dijone’ Flowers final summer of AAU basketball wasn’t off to a blazing start.
With so much as stake in her final handful of tournaments, to possibly catch the eye of college coaches, Flowers received a helpful reminder that it was time to raise the level of her play.
The Live Oak High senior, a three-year starter, two-time All-Parish and All-District 4-5A selection under coach Michele Yawn, listened and subsequently responded.
“At the beginning in June, I wasn’t doing too good,” said Flowers, who’s nearing 2,000 career points at Live Oak. “My mom (Latoya Williams) said it was my last ride and that I had to pick it up, had to play harder than I’ve ever played. Then in July I just picked it up. I knew it’s my last time playing AAU ever. I just wanted to go out with a bang.”
Flowers is pointed in that direction after helping her seven-member Tri-Parish Hurricanes to titles in the Super 64 National Championships in Frisco, Texas and She’s Ballin’ Extravaganza in San Antonio.
Flowers gained notoriety for her play at the Super 64 event by earning the equivalent of all-tournament.
“I’ve had to work hard,” Flowers said ahead of the team’s participation in the Battle of The Bayou in New Orleans. “We lost two players right before we went to Frisco. We’re basically all guards and are all interchangeable.”
Moreover, the tournament in which her team went 5-0, helped result in another coveted scholarship offer for Flowers, who added an overture from UL-Monroe to go along with existing offers from Southeastern Louisiana and Nicholls State.
She’s also received interest from Little Rock, Jacksonville, Lamar, Prairie View A&M and Incarnate Word, helping set the stage for the stretch run of Flowers’ recruiting process.
The 5-foot-6 guard plans to sign during the NCAA’s early signing period Nov. 14-21.
“I have a lot of work, but I’ll get it done,” Flowers said of deciding on a school. “I know with my mom and God on my side, we’ll get through it.
“When I first started AAU, this is something I thought about,” Flowers said. “I loved the game and have been playing it all of my life. It’s no reason to quit at something you love. I don’t want to waste any God-given talent.”
The Battle of the Bayou event, which began Sunday, represents the end for Flowers, who began playing AAU in the sixth grade. It wasn’t long thereafter the thought of playing college basketball gained steam, an objective she’s worked toward ever since.
“It’s exciting to go into a new chapter in my life and to see what I can do,” Flowers said. “To see what God has in store for me. I didn’t really watch it (the college game), I just played the game. My mom always said she had faith in me. To just keep pushing; she knew I could get to where I want to go.”
Some of the groundwork in her process has been established with Flowers having already taken unofficial visits to Southeastern and Little Rock. She plans to attend a camp at ULM in a few weeks.
It’s the important part in the recruiting process of any athlete – the opportunity to build relationships with respective coaching staffs and players – which could ultimately result in an official visit and potentially a commitment.
Flowers said he hasn’t scheduled any of her allotted five official visits.
“I need to get to know players and build team chemistry,” Flowers said. “I want to have good relationships with coaches. Some schools have just come on and I’ve got to build that relationship.
“I’m kind of nervous,” Flowers said. “I also know that my family’s got my back. I’ve got to take that big step, do what I have to do to see where the next four years of my life is going to be. To determine my future.”