Four Gamecocks Invited to Attend WNBA Draft
COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina seniors Laeticia Amihere, Brea Beal, Aliyah Boston and Zia Cooke are among the prospects who will attend WNBA Draft 2023 presented by State Farm on Mon., April. 10 at Spring Studios in the Tribecca section of New York City. The draft will air live on ESPN with exclusive coverage beginning at 7 p.m. ET.
This Gamecock quartet played an integral role in delivering three-straight NCAA Final Four appearances, the 2022 National Championship, three SEC Regular-Season Championships and three SEC Tournament titles. In their four seasons in Garnet and Black, South Carolina posted a 129-9 record (.935), including a 45-7 mark (.865) against ranked opponents and a 61-3 slate (.953) in SEC action. They spent every week of the last two seasons ranked No. 1 in the AP Poll, putting together the second-longest streak at No. 1 (38) in the history of that poll. They were atop the AP Poll 51 total weeks over the last four seasons and were never ranked outside the top 10. The group played in every Final Four possible in their careers, missing an opportunity to make it a sweep by the cancellation of the 2020 NCAA Tournament, at which time the Gamecocks were ranked No. 1 in the country.
A few notes on each Gamecock’s career:
6-4 • Forward • Mississauga, Ontario
- Closed out career with best offensive season, averaging 7.1 points on 48.7 percent shooting as a senior … ranked among SEC’s top 15 in blocks per game
- Over career, posted three double-doubles, 28 double-figure scoring games and led the team in assists eight times
- Was first Gamecock women’s basketball player to compete in an Olympics during her college career
- Dominated in 2023 SEC Tournament, averaging 12.3 points on 60.0 percent shooting and handed out 3.0 assists per game to help lead Gamecocks to the title
6-1 • Guard • Rock Island, Ill.
- Made name for herself defensively early in career and enjoyed most efficient offensive season of her career as a senior, averaging 6.4 points on 41.7 percent shooting, including 38.0 percent from 3-point range, in her final campaign
- Stat stuffer throughout her career, but thrived as a senior ranking second on the team in assists, third in rebounding and fourth in blocks
- Senior year effort delivered Honorable Mention All-America honors from the Associated Press, and was a finalist for Naismith Defensive Player of the Year
- Finished her career with two double-doubles, 23 double-figure scoring games, 11 double-digit rebounding games and 18 games leading or tying for the team lead in assists, including 13 as a senior
- Most decorated player in program history – program’s first National Freshman of the Year (2020), National Defensive Player of the Year (2022, 2023), Honda Cup winner (2022), Academic All-America Team Member of the Year (2022) and Women’s Basketball Academic All-American of the Year (2021, 2022) and its second to sweep the National Player of the Year awards (2022)
- Just the fifth player in AP All-America history to earn the honor all four years of her career; just the 10th player to earn first-team honors three times
- First player in SEC history to be the league’s Defensive Player of the Year four times
- Holds the SEC record with 15 career weekly honors and 10 career player of the week recognitions
- Holds 14 program career records, 14 program season records and five program single-game records
- Ranks 15th in NCAA history and fourth in SEC history with 1,493 career rebounds
- Ranks eighth in NCAA history and second in SEC history with 82 career double-doubles
- Ranks sixth in NCAA history with an SEC-record 27 consecutive double-doubles
- Tied for the SEC record with two triple-doubles and ranks sixth all-time in career blocks (330)
- Is just the fifth Gamecock to record at least 1,000 points and 1,000 rebounds … hit both marks as a junior (2021-22)
- In 52 career games against ranked opponents, averaged 15.2 points, 12.2 rebounds and 2.8 blocks
- In 16 career NCAA Tournament games, averaged 14.1 points, 12.4 rebounds and 1.5 blocks
- In 138 career games, scored in double figures 115 times (.833), hit double-digit rebounds 93 times (.674), led or tied for the team lead in rebounding 100 times
5-9 • Guard • Toledo, Ohio
- Turned in most efficient offensive season as a senior (2022-23), shooting 40.5 percent, including 34.6 percent from 3-point range, to pace the team with 15.4 points per game … played just 26.7 minutes per game to give her a career-best 23.1 points per 40 minutes
- As a senior, ranked ninth in SEC in scoring average (15.4), sixth in free throw percentage (.792) and 13th in field goal percentage (.405)
- Earned Final Four All-Tournament honors all three years behind 17.5 points per game on 46.2 percent shooting over her four career Final Four games
- Holds program records for most field goal attempts, made 3s and 3s attempted in a career of NCAA Tournament games
- Scored in double figures 103 times in 137 career games (.752), including 23 20-point outings
- In 52 career games against ranked opponents, averaged 14.1 points, including a 16.1 average in 10 such games in 2022-23
- Reached 1,000 career points early in her junior year (vs. Maryland 12/12/21) in her 74th career game
In program history, 13 Gamecocks have been selected in the WNBA Draft, including nine in the Dawn Staley era. The most recent draftee came in 2022 with Destanni Henderson selected 20th overall by the Indiana Fever. A’ja Wilson was the first Gamecock taken No. 1 overall when the Las Vegas Aces picked her at the top of the 2018 draft. The 2017 draft featured three Gamecocks taken in the first 10 picks, the most in program history.
Continue to check GamecocksOnline.com and the team’s social media accounts (@GamecockWBB) for the most up-to-date information on the women’s basketball season.