COLUMBIA, S.C. (Gamecocks Athletics) – South Carolina women’s basketball signee Saniya Rivers (Wilmington, N.C.) became the first future Gamecock to be named Gatorade National Girls’ Basketball Player of the Year, the organization announced Wednesday.
The award recognizes not only athletic accomplishment but also academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the court.
“Saniya Rivers is an outstanding high school basketball player, but she also has high standards for academic achievement and gives back to her community,” said Gatorade Senior Vice President and General Manager Brett O’Brien. “This award is about more than just sport, and we look forward to seeing Saniya’s continued achievements on and off the court.”
A two-time North Carolina Gatorade Player of the Year, Rivers led her Ashley High School team to a 15-2 record and the Class 4A state semifinals in 2020-21 behind 36.8 points, 11. 5 rebounds, 5.3 steals and 5.1 assists per game. The McDonald’s All-American was on the WBCA All-America Team and earned a spot on the Naismith All-America Second Team. A three-time all-state selection, Rivers earned North Carolina Basketball Coaches Association Player of the Year honors this season as well.
Off the court, Rivers is a 3.38 GPA student and a member of the Ashley Leadership Council and a bible study group. She has volunteered as an instructor and mentor for young players at the MLK Center and the Brigade Boys and Girls Club. During the pandemic, she regularly performed shopping duties for an elderly, immunocompromised neighbor.
Rivers is part of the No. 1 signing class in the country, the Gamecocks’ second top class in the last three years. She will be joined by Sania Feagin (Ellenwood, Ga./Forest Park), Bree Hall (Dayton, Ohio/Wayne) and Raven Johnson (Atlanta, Ga./Westlake) in Columbia for the 2021-22 season.
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.