South Carolina Basketball: BIG commitment for the Gamecocks is in

South Carolina basketball. (Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images)
South Carolina basketball. (Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images) /
South Carolina Basketball
South Carolina basketball. (Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images) /

Dawn Staley’s South Carolina basketball is replacing much of its 2022-2023 roster after five Gamecocks were drafted in the 2023 WNBA Draft (Aliyah Boston, Laeticia Amihere, Zia Cooke, Brea Beal, and Victaria Saxton) and two more seniors moved on after graduation (Kierra Fletcher and Olivia Thompson).

Milaysia Fulwiley, Tessa Johnson, and Sahnya Jah will enter the program as three of the top freshman in college basketball, and Fulwiley might even start. Te-Hina Paopao also is transferring in from Oregon as a big-time shooter who can play point guard or off-the-ball. For those counting at home, that’s four guards and wings coming to play in Columbia to replace five outgoing guards and wings. However, the Gamecocks’ roster still lost three important post players from a season ago, and that need had not been addressed.

That changed on Friday with another transfer portal addition to Dawn Staley’s program. 6’5″ Sakima Walker of Northwest Florida State College announced her transfer to the University of South Carolina.

Walker is the reigning National Junior College Player of the Year, led her squad to the Junior College National Championship, and averaged 16.7 points per game and 8.2 rebounds per game to go with 1.7 blocks per contest. She also can step away from the basket and hit a few jump shots to space the floor for her offense.

Walker gives the Gamecocks another inside force to pair with reigning SEC Sixth Woman of the Year Kamilla Cardoso. The 6’5″ Walker and the 6’7″ Cardoso could feasibly play together at times in Dawn Staley’s system as Cardoso and Aliyah Boston (also 6’5″) played the last two seasons together in some of the most devastating rebounding and defensive lineups that college basketball has ever seen.

The Gamecocks are likely in need of another post player, but last year’s freshmen Ashlyn Watkins and Sania Feagin could be ready to take a step up as both players showed flashes of future promise last season in their limited roles.

All-American transfer from DePaul Aneesah Morrow is expected to announce her commitment later on Friday. Morrow is viewed as an LSU lean, but the Gamecocks are one of two other finalists to land the talented forward. Morrow will choose between LSU, South Carolina, and Southern Cal.