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Aug. 6, 2010

By Diana Koval
Assistant Media Relations Director

COLUMBIA – South Carolina women’s basketball head coach Dawn Staley announced today that senior guard Valerie Nainima (Suva, Fiji) has undergone successful surgery to repair an ACL injury in her right knee. University of South Carolina Athletics medical director, Dr. Jeffrey Guy, performed the surgery this morning at Palmetto Richland Hospital. There is no definitive timeline for Nainima’s return to the Gamecock lineup.

“We are disappointed for Val, but we know that injuries are part of the game,” Staley said. “Val is a difficult player to replace, but our team is more than one player. We have others who are capable and ready to do their part as we continue toward our team goals. Our team’s ambitions have not changed and will not while we prepare to support Val through her injury and recovery. The best thing we can do is to approach this the way that Val approaches the game, which is to play as hard as she can every second she is on the floor.”

A second-team All-SEC selection by the league’s coaches in 2009-10, Nainima was the Gamecocks’ leading scorer at 17.0 ppg, ranking her fifth in the league. She was one of the nation’s most prolific 3-point shooters, netting 2.8 per game from outside the arc to rank 17th in the country, and her 35.8 percent accuracy from long range was ninth-best in the SEC. Nainima made 81 3-pointers on the season to tie for fifth-most in Gamecock history. The team’s leading scorer 15 times, she amassed 10 20-point games and reached double figures in all but two games of the season.