Colquitt County’s Dexshalyn Polite blew out her knee right before the Lady Packers were to play in the first round of the state tournament and had surgery on March 6.
Some college coaches might have backed away from a player coming off knee ligament surgery.
But St. Petersburg (Fla.) College coach Denisha Davidson did not and when Polite joins the Lady Titans program next January, she will have a full scholarship waiting.
“That a coach is still willing to give a kid the opportunity to something she loves to do is a blessing,” said Polite’s father, Dextra Polite, a Colquitt County football and track coach.
The Lady Packers guard signed a letter of intent with St. Petersburg on Wednesday in the Colquitt County media center.
Polite becomes the third third senior off the Lady Packers 21-6 team to earn a scholarship to continue her basketball career, joining teammates Makeba Ponder, who is going to Georgia State, and Abbi Beth Paulk, who is headed to Brewton-Parker.
And she is joining an outstanding two-year program.
The Lady Titans went 24-7 last season under Davidson, who played at Kennesaw State and was an assistant at Columbus State before moving to St. Petersburg.
Davidson also coached Umeika Henry, another former Lady Packer who played at St. Petersburg several years ago.
Lady Packers coach Rondesha Williams said she likes the idea that Polite will not go to St. Petersburg until next January.
“That way she will be fully rehabbed,” Williams said. “I’m comfortable that the Vereen Rehabilitation Center will do her rehab here.”
Polite averaged 6.5 points a game as a junior, but came into her own last season.
She was averaging 12.3 points and 3.6 rebounds a game when she was injured in the Region 1-AAAAAA tournament victory over Tift County that clinched third place for the Lady Packers.
But it is Polite’s defense that sets her apart, Williams said.
“Shooting guards are a dime a dozen,” Williams said. “The differences is that she plays defense.”
Williams said Polite began to come into her own in the second game of the season against Godby High in Tallahassee. Not only did she score 21 points, she also held Godby’s leading scorer in check.
Polite also had a 24-point game against Brunswick later and the season and Williams credits assistant coach Stephanie Cody with helping the young player develop her shot.