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Feb. 13, 2009

COLUMBIA, S.C. – University of South Carolina women’s basketball announces two initiatives for Sunday’s 3 p.m. game against Alabama at Colonial Life Arena. The Gamecocks are looking to be the top SEC school in the NCAA’s “Pack the House” challenge for the second-straight year while honoring the elementary school participants and winners of the “Read with the Gamecocks” Program.

“Pack the House” is an awareness and attendance building incentive program developed by the NCAA last season. Conference winners are selected based on marketing plan creativity and attendance criteria. In the inaugural year of the initiative, South Carolina’s attendance of 7,841 for the Jan. 13 game against Tennessee was deemed the leading effort in the SEC.

The “Read with the Gamecocks” Program is another initiative that has taken off this season in its 10th year of existence. Open to all schools in the state for the first time this year, nearly 4,400 students from 103 elementary schools signed up to participate in the program. School locations ranged from Greenville/Spartanburg to the Myrtle Beach and Charleston areas. With a ticket to Sunday’s game against Alabama as an incentive, the group combined to read 1.9 million pages from Dec. 15, 2008, to Jan. 4, 2009.

Each participant attending the game will receive a “Dawn Staley Reading Heroes” comic book. The individual winner from each school will be recognized on the court at halftime and receive a certificate and a gift bag that includes some Gamecock gear and a new book. The school that read the most pages will be announced and receive a visit from the South Carolina women’s basketball team and coaching staff at a date to be determined. A Coaches’ Award has been added to the program this year and will be given out at the game.

For tickets to the game, please visit South Carolina’s official athletics web site,, call the Gamecock Ticket Office at 800-4SC-FANS (800-472-3267), or visit the ticket office at Colonial Life Arena.