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Oct. 5, 2006 will feature each of the Gamecock Basketball players throughout the pre-season with it’s own version of HOOP DREAMS.

With the college basketball season set to tip-off with practice the next day, the South Carolina men’s and women’s basketball teams will host HARDWOOD HOOPLA 2006 as part of Spend an Evening with the Gamecocks on Fri., Oct. 13 in the USC Basketball Practice Facility/Volleyball Competition Facility (see for more details).

Today talks to Brandis Raley-Ross, a freshman guard from Gastonia, N.C. Raley-Ross, whose nickname is `B-Smooth’, chose USC over Notre Dame, West Virginia and Boston College. A four-year letterman at Gaston Day School, Raley-Ross averaged 29 ppg, 7 rpg and 6 apg his senior season and was honored as the Gastonia County Player of the Year twice. He was also named all-state twice and all-conference three times.

USC: What are you looking forward to most about the upcoming season?

BR-R: The overall college experience, the fans and the national exposure we’re going to get this season.

USC: What do you do when you have free time?

BRR: Relaxing is the only thing I can do. I like to play video games and read the newspaper a lot (The Charlotte Observer, The State and USA Today).

USC: You graduated last spring. How did you spend your last summer before college?

BRR: I came to USC and took summer school classes and lifted weights with the team. I think the extra work definitely helped me improve my game.

USC: How do you prepare pre-game?

BRR: I like to get mentally focused and try to enter the game with a clear mind. I usually listen to music before games. Rap music, (specifically) Tupac, gets me pumped. It’s all about the artist.

USC: Who is your role model? Why?

BRR: My Dad. He introduced me to basketball. Every time I play, I think of him.

USC: You’ve only been here for a short period of time, but what has been your best memory at USC thus far?

BRR: One afternoon this summer the team went to Camp Kemo. We signed autographs for the kids and played with the kids. Just seeing how much they looked up to us has been my favorite moment here. (Brandis is referring to Camp Kemo, a camp for children in South Carolina with cancer).

USC: Anything else for the Gamecock fans?

BRR: Looking forward to getting to know you and don’t forget about Hardwood Hoopla on Friday, Oct. 13 at the USC Practice Facility – it’s going be great!