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Nov. 11, 2004

Columbia, S.C. – – South Carolina women’s basketball coach Susan Walvius announced the signing of one of the nation’s top post players to a National Letter of Intent Thursday. Bishopville Lee Central HS center Demetress Adams will join the Gamecocks next year.

Adams is well-known in national recruiting circles, as she is ranked as the 10th-best center in America and the 31st-best player at any position by All-Star Girls Report.

Adams was recruited by just about every major Division I school in the country. Standing 6-3, she is a true post player that is remarkably athletic and runs the floor very well for someone her size. In her fifth year as a varsity player at Lee Central (she was on the varsity as an eighth grader), she is the key performer for a team that has won three of the last four state championships.

“Demetress can play anywhere on the floor and is an elite athlete,” Walvius said. “She is a very good scorer and rebounder and she is going to be a great one here. She is very smart, and I am excited for the opportunity to coach her. She will bring a unique talent to our program with her versatility.”

Adams joins local product and Heathwood Hall star Brionna Dickerson as players signed by Walvius during the early signing period. Blue Star Index rated the duo as the third-best recruiting class in the Southeastern Conference and the 13th-best nationally. Only Florida and Georgia have higher-ranked classes among SEC schools according to the publication.

“It is very important to us to recruit the state of South Carolina and to sign players who can compete for National Championships,” Walvius said. “Demetress and Brionna are those types of players.”

With all 12 players on the current South Carolina roster returning next year plus Adams and Dickerson, South Carolina would have 14 players on scholarship with one vacant slot that could be used this year or held over to next year’s class.

Following is information on both student-athletes, along with quotes from each and quotes from their respective coaches.

Demetress Adams
6-3 Center
Bishopville, S.C.
Lee Central HS

Prep/Personal: Two-time SCBCA AA All-State honoree in 2003 and 2004 at Lee Central HS in Bishopville, S.C., where she played for coach Dorothy Fortune…Class AA Player of the Year in 2004 is widely regarded as one of the top five players in the state… Averaged 24.2 points, 14.6 rebounds, 7.2 blocked shots and 3.2 steals a game for Lee Central as a junior…Played varsity basketball since eighth grade and was instrumental in leading Lee Central to three state championships and four conference titles…Selected as the No. 31 senior and No. 10 post player in the nation by All-Star Girls Report, as well as being tabbed as the 28th-best by Roundball Journal…Ranked as a top-100 player by the Blue Star Index and has been ranked as high as the fourth-best post player in the nation…adidas Top Ten Camp Upperclass All-Star in both 2003 and 2004…An honorable mention selection to the 2004 Street & Smith All-America team…Earned All-South honors from the Orlando Sentinel in 2004 after earning honorable mention recognition in 2003…Attended the McDonald’s All-American camp during the winter of 2004… Chose to come to South Carolina because of the people, the reputation of the school and because it presents a great situation both academically and athletically…Plans on majoring in psychology at South Carolina, then enrolling in law school with future aspirations of opening up her own law firm and eventually becoming a judge…Vice President of the senior class at Lee Central and is a member of the Beta Club, National Honor Society and National High School Honor Roll…Included on the list of Who’s Who Among America’s High School Students… Born March 10, 1987 in Passaic, N.J….Daughter of Vita Dinkins…Younger sister Kiki is a sophomore playing basketball and volleyball at Lee Central…Chose South Carolina over scholarship offers from several schools, including Notre Dame, Georgia, Vanderbilt, Kansas State, Kansas, West Virginia, Michigan State and Rutgers.

Demetress Adams on coming to South Carolina: “I am very excited to come down to USC because it is a great school in a great location and a great city. Academically, South Carolina does a great job of keeping their players focused on grades and keeping them on the right track in the classroom.”

Adams regarding the recruiting process: “All the coaches did a great job recruiting, and it was a team effort. The thing that really stood out was how involved Coach Walvius was. It is rare that a head coach would be so involved in recruiting, but I could just see in her eyes and in the way that she spoke that there were good things in store for this program and that she wanted me to be a part of it. Every time I dealt with her, there was just a different feeling and a different outlook than when I dealt with coaches from other schools.”

Regarding any other factors that helped her decide to come to South Carolina: “The mentors program that South Carolina has is a great program and really makes a difference. To have people that are professionals in the community taking an interest in the women’s basketball team, it means a lot. They are where I want to be, and to be able to speak to them is a great resource.”

Regarding the players that are currently at South Carolina: “I got a chance to meet everyone there, and I really enjoyed being around this group. Lauren Simms was my recruiting host and she was great. I also got to gel with Lakesha Tolliver. We played against each other before, and it was nice to be able to talk with her and get pointers about what it’s like to be a post player at this level.”

Susan Walvius regarding Demetress Adams: “Demetress is a very intelligent person and is an excellent student. She is someone who will be very successful.”

Lee Central Head Coach Dorothy Fortune regarding Demetress Adams: “Demetress will be a great fit at South Carolina because of the style of basketball they play. Demetress is a great athlete and will do extremely well in the pressing and running style that Coach Walvius uses. She was recruited by every major Division I school, but she made a good decision to come to South Carolina.”

Brionna Dickerson
5-9 Shooting Guard
Columbia, S.C.
Heathwood Hall

Prep/Personal: Local product who dominated the competition during her high school career, averaging 40 points and 10 rebounds per game as a junior at Heathwood Hall Episcopal School in Columbia, where she was coached by her father Jerome…Scored more than 3,400 points during her first three years there and will likely eclipse the 4,000-point plateau and finish her career as the second-highest scorer in the history of the state of South Carolina…Three-time SCISA Player of the Year…A state finalist for the Wendy’s Heisman Award…Ranked as the No. 17 senior in America by Roundball Journal…Tabbed as the 69th-best player and the 16th-best point guard in America by All Star Girls Report…A top-100 selection nationally by Blue Star Index..Honorable Mention selection to the 2004 Street and Smith’s All-America team…Born November 9, 1986 in Columbia…Daughter of Jerome and Sandra Dickerson…Her father played at Allen University and served as a coach at Benedict College for seven years…Her mother was an all-state selection at Lower Richland HS and was the top player at Columbia College…Has two younger sisters, Victoria and Kristen…Is a cousin of former Gamecock great and current WNBA player Shaunzinski Gortman…Chose South Carolina because of the educational opportunity and the chance to play on a team that is rebuilding with a chance to win the national championship…Lists international business as her anticipated major…USC has the number one international business school in the nation…Plans for after college include playing in the WNBA and owning a sports agency…Would also like to open a recreation center for children with special needs…Chose South Carolina over scholarship offers from Vanderbilt, Princeton, Wake Forest and North Carolina State.

Brionna Dickerson on coming to South Carolina: “I am very excited about the opportunity to come to South Carolina. I have always dreamed of going to school there and have been a long-time supporter of the program. I have had my eyes on coming to USC since I was little. I used to always go to the games, and I will continue to go to as many games as I can now.”

Regarding the recruiting process: “All of the coaches recruited me, but Coach Baldwin was the main one I dealt with. His dedication won me over.”

Regarding the prospects of joining a roster that remains fully intact from the previous year: “A lot of people would be discouraged by that and would say that they’d have to sit on the bench at the beginning, but I don’t look at it that way. I see it as a chance to learn the system and learn what it takes to be competitive at this level.”

Regarding the South Carolina coaching staff: “The coaches have so much experience. With her background, Coach Hill-MacDonald knows what players have to do to get the WNBA, which is where I eventually want to go. Coach Walvius and Coach Baldwin both have a lot of good experience working with different teams and know what it takes to succeed, and I was a huge fan of Coach Marciniak when she was a player.”

South Carolina Head Coach Susan Walvius on Brionna Dickerson off the court: “Brionna is a great person. She is very intelligent and I can’t say enough about how impressed I am with her and her family as people. She will be an excellent ambassador for the University of South Carolina.”

Heathwood Hall Head Coach Jerome Dickerson regarding Brionna Dickerson: “Brionna is a special player that knows how to score. Most kids don’t have the kind of pressure on them to score that Brionna has. She understands how to score and she is someone that can take a team to the next level because of her ability. Brionna will fill an immediate need for South Carolina, because she is a pure scorer.”