Texas Rangers center fielder Delino DeShields jokingly admits to being tough on his little sister Diamond when they were growing up.
It was easy because she was two years younger and shorter than him for a while, he explained to MLB host Lauren Chamberlain on Cut4’s Instagram Live. But then Diamond grew 5 inches going into middle school and went on to become a first-round pick in the WNBA draft.
“I like to say I toughened her up when she was younger,” DeShields joked. “Now you see her always falling on the court and she gets right back up. She's tough as hell. I take a little bit of credit for that. But yeah, it's pretty cool [to see her in the WNBA].”
Diamond and Delino DeShields joined a star-studded lineup of Instagram Live interviews on MLB’s social media platforms for National Girls and Women in Sports Day, where Diamond DeShields emphasized how important it is for girls to see women that they can look up to in sports.
“It's just important to highlight women in sports and the accomplishments that we've made thus far,” DeShields, a 2019 WNBA All-Star, said. “There's such a huge disparity between men and women, as far as participation and stories that are being told.
“So today, you learn so much about the amazing women that are actively impacting sports. It's great to highlight those stories and to have those stories be told because oftentimes we don't really get that type of recognition.”
Delino DeShields said growing up with Diamond and his mom, Tisha, who was an All-American track athlete at the University of Tennessee, gave him a greater respect for women in sports than most boys have growing up.
He’s seen firsthand the struggles women basketball players face playing overseas and in the WNBA. Even more so, he’s enjoyed watching Diamond use her voice to become involved in helping women in sports.
“I applaud how the sports world in general is starting to change a little bit, and becoming more diverse because for the longest time it has been a male-dominated thing,” Delino DeShields said. “At this point women could do whatever. Sky's the limit as long as all these opportunities keep coming and coming through. I feel like the possibilities are endless.”
Both Diamond and Delino DeShields also recounted their experiences growing up in an athletic and competitive household.
Diamond DeShields pointed out that she was definitely the most “naturally gifted athlete” in the family, but they were pretty equal in their fast-paced personal development from youth sports to professional.
DeShields agreed that maybe Delino did bully her a little bit, but she appreciated that he never treated her “like a girl.” For her, it was fun getting to hang out with Delino and his teammates.
“We've always been super, super close; he was a great big brother,” DeShields said. “It was never a dull moment. To not be treated differently because I was a girl is one of the things that I appreciate the most. He was like a bully at times and I think that's what every big brother does. But it just made me tough. It made me have really tough skin.”
Delino DeShields said he thinks they always knew they could both reach the highest levels of their respective sports, but seeing it play out for the both of them has been special for the entire family.
“We wrote contracts when we were like 12,” DeShields said. “I think that's kind of what drove us to get to where we are. Just that drive and the constant pushing to support each other. Now we're at a point in our lives where we're talking about beyond sports and what's our legacy going to be as a family.”
To end the Instagram Live, Diamond DeShields emphasized that Delino doesn’t stand a chance against her in a game of horse.
“He’s not a hooper at all,” she said.