Landers Athlete of the Week: North Caddo's Destiny Rice

Updated: Nov. 30, 2017 at 12:45 AM CST
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VIVIAN, LA (KSLA) - The North Caddo Lady Rebels have been dominant in this area for the last five years.

The Rebels have won three state titles in the last four seasons but last seasons third round playoff loss weighs on the mind Junior Guard Destiny Rice daily.

"I wanted 4 state championships but we came up short last year but we are going to win this year and I'm hungry for it just like I was freshman year," said Destiny Rice.

The passion can be seen on every play and her mom says it started at a young age.

"She's been playing since she was 5 years old, she played with her two brothers everything they did she did. She is just competitive and I'm competitive too. We just don't like losing I know I don't," says Tara Rice.

The road wasn't always easy for Destiny she was cut from the middle school team.

"She came home crying that day, I told her you have to keep working and I think she went outside and played basketball all night. She stayed out there until about 12 o'clock and we haven't been able to keep her out of the gym since," said Tara Rice.

"Destiny will practice at school she will come home and go straight to Wilford 'Easy Skills and drills training' then she'll leave coach Wilford and go train with Shantel Hardison 'Hoopnation 365,'" said Tara Rice.

You see sometimes we fall so in love with the product that we forget about the process.

"It's just hard work and dedication, I play basketball so much my mama and daddy have to tell me when to take a break," said Destiny Rice.

Shantel Hardison was once the number one player in the nation coming out of Natchtioches High School and she has high praise for young Destiny.

"I always tell her that she is one of the best in the nation, if she keeps dropping buckets nobody can stop her," said Hardison.

She's a certified Gym rat, that means she doesn't leave the gym, it's home to her.

"Anytime I think she's reached her limit she digs deep and pulls out more," said her mother Tara Rice.

All of that time she spends working on her game in practice yeilds results on game days. She poured in a game high 57 points against their rivals Red River.

"I didn't even know I had 57 points, I was just playing and when the man said it over the loud speaker I was happy and I started crying. You know people have been asking me how did you do that? I didn't try to do it, it just came naturally," said Destiny Rice.

Every night she's knows there is a target on her back, she welcomes the pressure because she's prepared.

I just have to play my game, Ms. Shantel always tells me to know that I am the best player on the court and nobody can stay in front of me or stop me. I pray before every game that God gives me the right mentality throughout the game," said Destiny Rice. "Sometimes I don't feel like going to the gym but I always go. You just have to push through because on the other side of pain is success."

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