Black teen joins first-ever gymnastics team at Talladega College, an HBCU

After Fisk University launched its gymnastics program last year, Talladega College will become the second HBCU to have a team.

A historically Black college in Alabama recruited a Minneapolis teenager to join its first gymnastics team, FOX 9 reports. 

After Fisk University launched its gymnastics program last year, Talladega College will become the second HBCU to have a team. After more than 10 years of training and a dream to compete in college, Diamond Cook, 19, made the cut. 

Black teen joins first-ever gymnastic team at Talladega College, a HBCU
Screenshot of Diamond Cook, the Minneapolis teenager who landed on the inaugural gymnastics team at a historically Black college in Alabama.

As FOX 9 reports, Cook’s mother, Sharon Cook, described her daughter as “A Diamond in the rough.”

Earlier this year, Brown Girls Do Gymnastics (BGDG) and Talladega College partnered with the HBCU Gymnastics Alliance to launch the college’s first-ever women’s artistic gymnastics team, the college announced in a news release

“This historic moment will have a lasting impact. Establishing a women’s gymnastics team at Talladega College will expand opportunities for HBCU student-athletes to compete in a rewarding sport that fosters discipline, confidence and success,” Talladega College President Gregory J. Vincent previously said in a statement. 

Vincent said the women’s gymnastics team will “promote student and alumni engagement and pride; enhance the college’s brand; and help create a pipeline of diverse gymnasts.”

“Having a team will give our athletes greater visibility and recognition,” said Talladega College Vice President and Athletic Director Michael Grant.

Sharon Cook convinced her daughter to attend a Brown Girls Do Gymnastics camp this summer, where her impressive balance beam skills caught the eyes of a coach at Talladega College.

“I saw something in her, kind of like a spark and an energy that was really, really inviting,” said three-time All-American gymnast Aja Sims-Fletcher, Talladega College head gymnastics coach, FOX 9 reports. “And I was like, wow, you are very good and I would love for you to be a part of this team.”

After saying yes, Diamond Cook said she “would love to be on that team.”

According to FOX 9, Diamond Cook wants to learn more about what it takes to reach higher levels of success.

“I’m going to be making history, which is really exciting,” she said.

August is the start of school, and January is the start of gymnastics competitions.

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