South Carolina Athletics held its annual Gamecock Gala on Monday, April 17, at the Colonial Life Arena. The event honored the University’s top student-athletes for their accomplishments during the 2022-23 academic year.
Aliyah Boston from women’s basketball captured both the Female Athlete of the Year and the prestigious President’s Award. Boston was a unanimous first-team All-American, was the Naismith Defensive Player of the Year and was named the Lisa Leslie Center of the Year this past season. She was also selected as the SEC Player of the Year and the SEC Defensive Player of the Year. She was both the SEC Tournament MVP and the NCAA Regional MVP. She led her team to three SEC regular-season titles, three SEC Tournament titles and three NCAA Final Four appearances including winning the 2022 National Championship, and was the first player selected in the 2023 WNBA Draft.
Toby Samuel from men’s tennis earned Male Athlete of the Year honors. Samuel had climbed to a career-high ranking of No. 3 in the nation this season the ITA Singles Rankings and has paired with Connor Thomson to become the nation’s top-ranked doubles team, the first pair in program history to hold the No. 1 spot. A two-time SEC Player of the Week recipient, Toby has logged an 18-4 record playing from the No. 1 position in singles and is 14-4 including ten wins over ranked opponents in doubles competition, leading his team to a top-5 national ranking.
2023 GAMECOCK GALA AWARD WINNERS:
H. Boyd McWhorter Scholarship – Female: Trinity Hammerschmidt (Equestrian)
H. Boyd McWhorter Scholarship – Male: Filip Demsar (Track & Field)
Brad E. Davis Outstanding Community Service – Female: Jordan Allen (Equestrian)
Brad E. Davis Outstanding Community Service – Male: Wesley Sweatt (Baseball)
Dodie Academic MVP Award: Alysia (Lele) Johnson (Track & Field)
New Student-Athlete of the Year: Jenna Hampton (Volleyball)
Female Freshman of the Year: Raven Johnson (Basketball)
Male Freshman of the Year: Nick Emmanwori (Football) & Ethan Petry (Baseball)
Female Scholar Athlete of the Year: Louise Rydqvist (Golf)
Male Scholar Athlete of the Year: Filip Demsar (Track & Field)
Team Impact Award: Equestrian
Gamecock Leadership Award: Kieley Gayle (Track & Field)
Gamecock Inspiration Award: Junior Saint Juste (Soccer)
Female Athlete of the Year: Aliyah Boston (Basketball)
Male Athlete of the Year: Toby Samuel (Tennis)
President’s Award: Aliyah Boston (Basketball)