South Carolina Basketball: Gamecock legend gives back ahead of SEC Tournament

South Carolina basketball legend Brea Beal partnered with Academy Sports to give back ahead of this week's SEC Tournament.

South Carolina basketball legend Brea Beal
South Carolina basketball legend Brea Beal / MCKENZIE LANGE/ Staff / USA TODAY

South Carolina basketball fans don't have to travel far for the SEC Tournament. As it often is, the conference tourney will be held in Greenville, South Carolina this season, and if early ticket sales are any indication, the Gamecocks will play pseudo-home games as they seek their 7th SEC Tournament win in 10 years.

However, before the tournament got started on Wednesday, a South Carolina basketball legend is making a difference in the Greenville community.

Brea Beal spent four years in Columbia, including an All-American senior season, and in three of her four seasons, she won SEC Tournaments in Greenville. On Wednesday, the former Gamecock star was back in Greenville, partnering with Academy Sports and Outdoors to give young basketball players shopping sprees.

Beal and Academy provided the future basketball stars of the state of South Carolina with $7500 for clothes, gear, and equipment as part of their #HaveFunOutThere initiative. Beal stuck around to talk with fans and sign autographs.

Beal was a great player for Dawn Staley and the Gamecocks, but her community involvement shows a deeper culture that is ingrained into the South Carolina basketball program. People matter, and Coach Staley's program consistently puts out individuals who get that and love to give back to the community.

During her Gamecock basketball career, Beal started 137 of 138 games and was one of the best and most versatile defenders to wear garnet and black in recent memory. After arriving in Columbia with offense as an afterthought, she developed into a complete player who could shoot the ball from outside, dribble like a lead guard, and distribute the basketball as a secondary facilitator. She won a national championship as a junior and helped lead the Gamecocks to an undefeated regular season as a senior.

Beal was drafted in the 2023 WNBA Draft by the Minnesota Lynx and is currently a free agent deserving of a new contract.

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