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Eager to play again, Tiana Stubbs signs with Hillsborough

Tiana Stubbs, shown here in game action on Nov. 20, 2018, missed more than a year of basketball due to an injury, but she’s ready to play again. She will play for Hillsborough Community College in Tampa. (Kevin Johnson photo)

HOLLYWOOD — If anyone deserves good news, it’s Tiana Stubbs, and this spring has been full of bright spots for the basketball player from the Hollywood Reservation whose high school career was derailed due to a serious injury.

Recently, Stubbs graduated from American Heritage School, received a scholarship to play at Hillsborough Community College and has been invited to play in a tournament in Spain next year.

After she received graduation gifts and photos from the Hollywood Council Office at a small event for the reservation’s 2020 graduates in the Classic Gym on June 18, Stubbs said she is excited and eager to play for Hillsborough, which is located in Tampa next door to the New York Yankees spring training facility and across the street from Raymond James Stadium.
Stubbs said she hadn’t yet visited the school, but is looking forward to starting her college career there. She plans on studying sports medicine. The school’s athletics department posted a congratulatory tweet April 30 welcoming Stubbs to the family.

Stubbs is an athletic 5-foot-10 shooting guard who excelled from beyond the arc during her career at Heritage. She was part of three state championships with her sister December, although an injury robbed her of playing in the last two finals.

As a sophomore, Tiana scored nine points in just 12 minutes of playing time in the 2018 Class 5A state title game against Ponte Vedra, but that turned out to be her final appearance in the finals. The following season she suffered a torn ACL and meniscus late in the regular season. As her teammates were winning their second consecutive title in Lakeland, she was having sugery back in South Florida. The injury forced her to sit out all of her senior year, except for the first minute of the senior night game when she was allowed to make a 3-pointer in a thoughtful prearranged deal between the teams.

She said she is healthy now. She has returned to practicing, but only at the reservation’s outdoor airnasium because the two indoor gyms have been closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

While Stubbs heads north to the state’s west coast, sister December will also go north for college, but on the east coast. She will attend the University of North Florida in Jacksonville and plans to study exercise science. December, a point guard who blossomed into a big-time leader on the floor for Heritage, was a key part of the state championship runs. She said she may try to make the UNF team as a walk-on.

Kevin Johnson
Kevin Johnson is senior editor. He has worked for The Seminole Tribune since 2014. He was previously an editor, photographer and reporter for newspapers in Southwest Florida and Connecticut. Contact Kevin at