COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina head women’s basketball coach Dawn Staley announced that Te-Hina Paopao (pronounced tuh-HEE-nuh POW-POW) will join the Gamecocks as a transfer from Oregon. She is eligible to play for the 2023-24 academic year and has up to two years of eligibility.
“We are thrilled to welcome our newest team member to our Gamecock family – Te-Hina Paopao,” Staley said. “T is a skilled proven point guard that can score and deliver the ball. She brings big game experience and is a great fit for the SEC.”
A 5-foot-9 guard, Paopao is a three-time All-Pac-12 selection, including a pair of first-team selections. Just shy of 1,000 points in her three seasons at Oregon, she averages 12.5 points for her career, including 13.1 last season. Paopao has scored in double-figures 51 times in her 77 career games, including 11 20-point outings, and is a career 38.0 percent 3-point shooter. In addition to her scoring, the rising senior handed out 3.6 assists per game in her Oregon career. In her time at Oregon, the Ducks played in the 2021 NCAA Sweet 16, qualified for the 2022 NCAA Tournament and reached the 2023 WNIT Quarterfinals. They were ranked in the AP top 25 all 17 weeks of the 2020-21 season and eight weeks in the next campaign. In Pac-12 action, Oregon took second place in the league in 2021-22, improving from a fourth-place showing the season before.
In 2022-23, Paopao helped Oregon to a 20-15 record and the WNIT quarterfinals as the Ducks’ third-leading scorer (13.1 ppg). She ranked 14th in the nation in 3-point field goal percentage, hitting a team-best 42.4 percent from beyond the arc while leading the team with 81 made 3s, which ranked 37th in the country. Paopao was second on the team with a career-best 117 assists (3.3 per game).
Prior to joining the Ducks, Paopao was the nation’s No. 11 recruit in the Class of 2020 ad a McDonald’s All-American out of La Jolla Country Day School. The Oceanside, Calif., product was named California’s Gatorade State Player of the Year, Cal-Hi Sports Ms. Basketball, Coastal League player of the year and San Diego Section player of the year after leading her high school to a 32-1 record and the No. 1 national ranking as a senior. Averaging 22.7 points, 8.0 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 3.3 steals, Paopao posted 10 double-doubles and a triple-double in her final high school season and netted 30 or more points six times.
Paopao joins freshmen Milaysia Fulwiley (Columbia, S.C./W.J. Keenan), Sahnya Jah (Monteverde, Fla./Monteverde Academy) and Tessa Johnson (Albertville, Minn./Saint Michael Albertville) as additions to Staley’s 2023-24 roster.