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Zia Cooke

  • position Guard
  • height 5-9
  • class Sophomore
  • Hometown Toledo, Ohio
  • High school Rogers
  • position Guard
  • height 5-9
  • class Sophomore
  • Hometown Toledo, Ohio
  • High school Rogers

Zia Cooke Bio


At South Carolina
All-America Third Team (2023, AP, USBWA)
3x All-America Honorable Mention (2021, USBWA, WBCA; 2022 AP; 2023 WBCA)
Ann Meyers Drysdale Shooting Guard of the Year (2023)
3x All-SEC (2021, 2023 1st Team; 2022 2nd Team)
SEC All-Freshman Team (2020)
NCAA Hemisfair Region MOP (2021)
3x NCAA Final Four All-Tourn. Team (2021, 2022, 2023)
NCAA Regional All-Tournament Team (2023)
2x SEC All-Tournament Team (2021, 2023)
4x SEC Academic Honor Roll (2020, 2021, 2022, 2023)

High School
Naismith Player of the Year Finalist (2019)
Naismith All-America First Team (2019)
WBCA All-America First Team (2019)
McDonald’s All-America (2019)
SLAM All-America (2019)
USA Today All-USA Third Team (2019)
OPSWA Division II Ohio Player of the Year (2019)

International (USA Basketball)
2018 FIBA U17 World Cup, gold medal
2017 FIBA U16 Americas Cup, gold medal

South Carolina Record Book

8th – Points in a career (1,845)
5th – 3FGs made in a career (196)
4th – FGA in a career (1,709)
4th – 3FGA in a career (573)
2nd – Games started in a career (137)
3rd – Consecutive games started (82 11/5/19-1/16/22)
2nd – Points in career SEC games (915)
1st – FGA in career SEC games (815)

Most field goal attempts in career NCAA Tournament games (222)
Most made 3s in career NCAA Tournament games (25)
Most 3s attempted in career NCAA Tournament games (78)

3rd – Points in a season of SEC games (272 in 2022-23)
1st – Field goal attempts a season of SEC games (243 in 2020-21)

Most games started by a freshman (33 in 2019-20)

Most field goal attempts by a freshman (23 vs. Arkansas, 1/9/20)
Best 3-point field goal percentage by a freshman (1.000 (4-4) vs. Auburn, 2/13/20)
Best free throw percentage by a freshman (1.000 (6-6) at Maryland, 11/10/19)
Most made 3-point field goals in an NCAA Tournament game (5 vs. Stanford, 4/2/21)

Career Summary

  • Regular starter all four years of her career, helping team to three SEC Regular-Season championships, three SEC Tournament titles and three NCAA Final Four showings, including the 2022 National Championship … team record of 129-9 during her career, including a 45-7 mark against nationally ranked opponents … ranked No. 1 in the AP Poll for 38 straight weeks, the second-longest streak in the history of that poll … lost just three SEC regular-season games in four seasons
  • In 2021-22 season, part of first team in program history to be ranked No 1 in both the AP and the USA Today Coaches’ Polls every week of the season … group went on to become just third program to hold No. 1 spot in the AP Poll in back-to-back seasons
  • 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
  • No. 10 overall pick in the 2023 WNBA Draft, taken by the Los Angeles Sparks in the first round

Bio Information

Senior Year (2022-23)

  • Helped team to program-record 36 wins, including perfect 16-0 slate in SEC action, seven wins over ranked opponents, an SEC Tournament title and a spot in the NCAA Final Four for the third-straight season
  • Part of team that set program records for points scored, rebounds and rebounding margin in addition to an NCAA record for blocked shots per gam
  • Named Ann Meyers Drysdale Shooting Guard of the Year to go along with Third-Team All-America recognition and First-Team All-SEC status
  • Finished season ranked sixth in SEC in free throw percentage, ninth in scoring (6th in conference play, 17.0 ppg), 13th in field goal percentage and 14th in made 3s per game
  • Led team with nine 20-point games, including three in postseason action
  • Was team’s top scorer in the NCAA Tournament, pouring in 16.0 points per game en route to regional and Final Four all-tournament honors
  • Exploded into NCAA Final Four against #3/3 Iowa (Mar. 31) with 18 points on 61.5 percent shooting in the first half to keep game tight at the half … finished with 24 points
  • Dropped 18 points in NCAA Elite Eight against #7/7 Maryland (Mar. 27), including nine each in the pivotal second and third quarters to turn a six-point deficit into a 12-point advantage at the end of the third
  • Offensive monster in SEC Championship game against Tennessee (Mar. 5), securing seventh 20+ point game with 12 of her 24 coming in just the second quarter after going on a solo 7-0 run
  • Contributed seven of her 14 points against Ole Miss in SEC semifinals (Mar. 4) during a 9-3 first-quarter run
  • Score seven of her 12 point against Georgia (Feb. 26) in the second quarter, including putting the Gamecocks up for good with a runner in the lane and capping the half with a 3 from the left corner
  • Team-high 19 points at Tennessee (Feb. 23) included her own 8-0 run in the second quarter with back-to-back threes
  • Scored five of the team’s nine overtime points at Ole Miss (Feb. 19) to deliver the win
  • Scored 20 points at Kentucky (Jan. 12), including 10 in a 16-2 second-quarter run that turned a 10-point deficit into a four-point halftime lead
  • Drove the Gamecock offense early at Mississippi State (Jan. 8) with six of the team’s 12 first-quarter points … gave Carolina first lead of the game with a 3 early in the second quarter and finished with team-high 16 points
  • Poured in a career-high 31 points at Georgia (Jan. 2), including 15 in the fourth quarter as Gamecocks took control of the game … hit 3-of-4 from the field, including 2-of-3 from 3-point range, and 7-of-8 form the free throw line in the final period … first 30-point game by a Gamecock since Te’a Cooper vs. Drake in 2018 (31, Nov. 28)
  • Was team’s top scorer vs. South Dakota State (Dec. 15) with 13 of her 18 points coming in the second half on 6-of-9 shooting in the final 20 minutes …. key to shutting down late rally, scoring six points in the 15-3 run that closed the game
  • Shook off a tough first half at #2/2 Stanford (Nov. 20), to deliver 10 points and three assists in the second while locking down Cardinal sharp shooter Hannah Jump (2 points) in that stretch … hit the final three free throws to seal the win
  • Poured in 10 of her 18 points at #17/18 Maryland (Nov. 11) in the pivotal third quarter, opening the period with a 3-point and closing it with three free throws after being fouled on a three at the buzzer

Junior Year (2021-22)

  • Part of first team in program history to be ranked No 1 in both the AP and the USA Today Coaches’ Polls every week of the season and program’s second National Championship
  • Team posted program-record 14 wins over ranked opponents and claimed the SEC Regular-Season title
  • Second on the team with 23 double-digit scoring games and led the team in scoring six times
  • Shot 42.9 percent in the pair of Final Four games en route to the national championship
  • Netted eight of the team’s first 17 points in National Championship game against #5/5 UConn (Apr. 3) to open up a 17-4 lead that the Huskies could never overcome
  • Scored all 10 of her points in the NCAA semifinal game against #4/4 Louisville (Apr. 1) in the second half, including the first five after haltime within 20 seconds to stretch a six-point lead into an 11-point advantage
  • Posted 10 of her 15 first-half points in a key second quarter to give the team the lead over #17/18 North Carolina (Mar. 25) in the Sweet 16… made 6-of-11 shots in the first half, including three 3s
  • Hit a pair of 3s in a 25-4 first-quarter run at #17/14 Georgia (Feb. 13), highlighted by a deep buzzer-beater
  • Attacked the basket non-stop in a win over #21/20 Kentucky (Jan. 9), scoring 11 of her game-high 19 points in the third quarter to put the game away
  • Carried the offense in the first half at #13/16 LSU (Jan. 6), scoring 11 of her 17 points in the first two quarters, and contributed four points to the 10-3 run that opened the third period
  • Powered the win over #8/7 Maryland (Dec. 12) with 10 of the team’s 21 second-quarter points, hitting the career 1,000-point milestone in the process, and then closing with seven in the fourth, including a pair of free throws and a steal and transition layup that put the Gamecocks up with five minutes to play
  • Overcame early foul trouble to score 11 first-half points in the win over #2/2 UConn (Nov. 22) … hit a pull-up jumper late in the third to end a 10-2 Husky run and spark a 9-2 surge that put the Gamecocks up for good
  • Matched her career high in assists (5) in back-to-back games vs. Buffalo and #9/9 Oregon, also adding a team-high 20 points against the Ducks (Nov. 21)
  • Led the team with 17 points at #5/4 NC State (Nov. 9), including four of the first six in the 10-3 run that ended the third quarter after the Wolfpack pulled within one

Sophomore Year (2020-21)

  • Part of team that claimed its second-straight SEC Tournament title and advance to the NCAA Final Four for the first time since 2017
  • First-Team All-SEC and honorable mention All-American after leading the team in scoring (15.9 ppg)
  • Finished the season ranked 12th in the SEC in scoring and ninth in free throw percentage (.772)
  • Earned a spot on the NCAA Final Four All-Tournament Team with a 25-point outing against No. 2/2 Stanford (Apr. 2) in the semifinal game, matching the program NCAA Tournament record for the second time in three games with five 3s, including three in the first six minutes of the third quarter to help level the game
  • Named the Hemisfair Region Most Outstanding Player while averaging 14.0 points-, 4.5 rebounds- and 2.0 assists-through the first four games of the tournament
  • Tied the program record for 3-point buckets in a NCAA Tournament game with five in the NCAA Sweet 16 game against Georgia Tech (Mar. 28) … finished the game with a team-high 17 points and four rebounds
  • Finished the SEC Tournament averaging 15.7 points per game to earn a spot on the All-Tournament Team
  • Erased LSU’s (Feb. 14) only lead of the day with four quick points in the first on her way to 13 points, her eighth straight game in double figures
  • Took over in the third quarter of the SEC opener against Florida (Dec. 31), scoring the final 12 points of the period on her way to 26 points, a new SEC career high
  • Tied her career best with five made 3-pointers against Temple (Dec. 17) in a lethally efficient performance, going 8-of-11 from the field and 5-of-7 from beyond the arc for a game-high 23 points

Freshman Year (2019-20)

  • Part of first team in program history to end the season ranked No. 1 in the nation, claiming that spot in both the AP and the USA Today Coaches’ Poll
  • Helped team to SEC Regular-Season and Tournament crowns before seeing the COVID-19 pandemic cancel the NCAA Tournament … won all 16 SEC regular-season games
  • Set program record for games started by a freshman after drawing the assignment in every game of the season
  • Ranked 24th in the SEC in scoring and 12th in league games (13.8)
  • Led the team or tied for team lead in scoring in eight SEC games, cracking double figures in 13
  • Posted her Gamecock freshman record fourth 20-point SEC game at #14/16 Kentucky (Feb. 23), highlighted by 13 second-half points, including key buckets each time the Wildcats drew within single digits
  • Made the clutch play of the night against #9/9 Mississippi State (Jan. 20), intercepting an in-bounds pass with six seconds left to seal the Carolina win … scored five of her 13 points in the final quarter as well
  • Had best outside shooting night by a Gamecock freshman since 2011 with five 3s at Dayton (Nov. 13), finishing with 27 points for the most by a Gamecock freshman since 2009

High School

  • Ranked No. 4 recruit in the Class of 2019 and the top point guard in the class
  • Earned consensus All-America selection after her senior season (2018-19)
  • Played in the McDonald’s All-American Game and the Jordan Brand Classic (2019)
  • Helped Rogers to a pair of Ohio Division II State Championships (2018, 2019)
  • Captured multiple player of the year honors from Ohio Prep Sportswriters Association (OPSWA) Division II (2019), Toledo Blade (2018, 2019), Toledo City League (2017, 2018)
  • Named to at least one all-state team in each of her last three seasons at Rogers
  • Has won a pair of gold medals with USA Basketball



  • Daughter of Michelle and Stratman Cooke … has one brother, Stratman
  • Majoring in mass communications