LAKELAND, Fla. - Southeastern University student Amy Rhodes is already making history at just 21 years old. She is the first woman and youngest person ever to own a Florida Basketball Association team.
"It is just surreal that I am the one doing this," Rhodes – the owner of the Lakeland Royals – told FOX 13.
Growing up, she played just about every sport and dreamed of becoming a professional athlete. But those career goals were sidelined in 2017 when someone ran into her during a baseball game and crushed her knee.
"It was the first time I felt real depression because I didn’t know anything else," she shared. "This is what I had dedicated my life to."
But you can’t keep a good athlete down long. Rhodes, known as "tank" because of her aggressive play and her never-say-die nature, started going to Florida Basketball Association games.
At first, she attended just to watch, but one day she caught a glimpse of the president of the FBA at a game.
"I don’t know how this boldness came over me," she said. "I walked up to him and I was like, ‘What do I have to do to own a team?’ He kind of looked at me, and said, ‘Are you serious?’ I said, ‘Yes sir.'"
Money was a big problem. She worked three jobs and saved every penny, but it wasn’t enough to cover the initial investment.
"I prayed about it to God. I don’t have all this money. So, somehow, some way, I need you to provide it. Every step of the way, it just came. I was like, let’s go! Let’s go for it! Let’s run!"
Despite Rhodes' age, the president of the FBA says he is 100% confident in her leadership skills.
"The world is changing," said Mark King. "People like her deserve an opportunity to play in the sandbox a little bit and get dirty and make something happen."
The first thing on the bucket list is to recruit more players, which is happening right now.
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