Gamecock Gala Held Monday Night
Event Honors Accomplishments from the 2021-22 Campaign
COLUMBIA, S.C. (April 18, 2022) – The University of South Carolina Athletics Department held its annual Gamecock Gala on Monday evening. The Gala, which honors the University’s student-athletes for their accomplishments during the 2021-22 academic year, was held at Colonial Life Arena, returning to an in-person event for the first time since 2019.
This year’s prestigious President’s Award went to standout women’s soccer player Lauren Chang. Chang graduated with a bachelor’s degree in political science in the Honors College and is currently working towards a master’s degree in business administration. She is a three-time CoSIDA first-team Academic All-District selection, a two-time CoSIDA second-team Academic All-American and is the SEC Co-Scholar Athlete of the Year. On the pitch, she is a two-time team captain, three-time All-SEC honoree and three-time United Soccer Coaches All-Region selection.
The Female Athlete of the Year went to Aliyah Boston from women’s basketball. Boston was a unanimous selection as the National Player of the Year and first-team All-American and was also selected as the Naismith National Defensive Player of the Year after leading her team to its second National Championship. She was named the Most Outstanding Player of both the Greensboro Region and the Final Four. She set an SEC record with 27-consecutive double-doubles while earning conference Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year honors.
The Male Athlete of the Year was shared between Jaylan Foster from football and Daniel Rodrigues from tennis.
Foster earned first-team All-SEC and Walter Camp All-America honors after leading the Gamecocks with 96 tackles, including double-figures in three games. He tied for fourth in the NCAA with a team-leading five interceptions, the most for a Gamecock since 2004. He capped his career by being named the co-Outstanding Senior, the Most Inspirational Walk-On, the co-Joe Morrison Award winner as the MVP of the defense, the co-Steve Wadiak Award winner as the Team MVP and a Rex Enright permanent team captain for 2021.
Rodrigues is ranked No. 2 in the nation in singles, compiling a 24-3 overall singles mark, including a 21-2 dual-match record in the No. 1 spot in the lineup. He has also been ranked as high as No. 4 in the country in doubles with partner Connor Thomson. His efforts lead a Gamecock squad that is ranked No. 9 in the country, posted a perfect home record and the highest SEC Tournament seed in school history.
2022 GAMECOCK GALA AWARD WINNERS
Female McWhorter Scholar: Courtney Weber (Volleyball/Beach Volleyball)
Male McWhorter Scholar: Daniel Rodrigues (Tennis)
Female Brad Davis Scholar: Briana Reckling (Track & Field)
Male Brad Davis Scholar: David Olds (Track & Field)
Dodie Academic MVP: Jordan Fabian (Softball)
Female New Student-Athlete of the Year: Brooke Schultz (Swimming & Diving)
Male New Student-Athlete of the Year: Anass Essayi (Track & Field)
Female Freshman of the Year: Sara Hamner (Tennis)
Male Freshman of the Year: Juju McDowell (Football)
Female Scholar Athlete of the Year: Macie Kavanaugh (Track & Field)
Male Scholar Athlete of the Year: AJ Ross (Swimming & Diving)
Impact Team of the Year: Women’s Soccer
Gamecock Leadership Award: Laeticia Amihere (Basketball)
Gamecock Inspiration Award: Jaylan Foster (Football)
Female Athlete of the Year: Aliyah Boston (Basketball)
Male Athlete of the Year: Jaylan Foster (Football) & Daniel Rodrigues (Tennis)
President’s Award: Lauren Chang (Soccer)