COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina head women’s basketball coach Dawn Staley announced that Sakima Walker will join the Gamecocks as a transfer from Northwest Florida State College. She is eligible to play for the 2023-24 academic year and has up to two years of eligibility.
“We are very excited about welcoming Sakima Walker to our Gamecock family,” Staley said. “Kima brings with her championship experience by leading her team to the National JUCO title in March. She scores, rebounds and defends the rim. Gamecock Nation is going to love her 6-5 frame deepening our post crew and she’ll block shots, too!”
A 6-foot-5 center, Walker began her career at Rutgers, playing two seasons before transferring to Northwest Florida State College for the 2022-23 campaign. She led the Raiders to its second NJCAA National Championship in program history, claiming tournament MVP honors after pouring in 19.1 points and 8.7 rebounds per game over the seven games in the tournament, collecting three double-doubles in the event. For the season, which saw the Raiders win their fifth-straight Panhandle Conference Championship and finish with a 29-4 record, Walker averaged 16.7 points to rank fifth in the Florida College System Activities Association (FCSAAA) on 59.8 percent shooting, which ranked her third in the league. She posted 13 double-doubles in 32 games. In leading NWF to a league-best 12-1 record in Panhandle Conference action, Walker posted 19.6 points and 8.3 rebounds per game while shooting 66.2 percent in conference action.
Prior to transferring to NWF, Walker averaged 4.0 points and 2.5 rebounds in 32 games over two seasons at Rutgers, playing 10.7 minutes per game. She had five double-figure scoring games and shot 56.1 percent from the field.
Walker played high school basketball in her hometown of Columbus, Ohio, where she led her Africentric Early College team to consecutive Division III Ohio State Championships, beginning with a perfect 28-0 season in 2018-19 as a junior. She was the 2019-20 Ohio High School Basketball Coaches Association and District 10 Basketball Coaches Association Division III Player of the Year. The three-time first-team all-city selection also earned first-team all-state and first-team all-metro honors during her career. Walker was rated the No. 7 post player in the Class of 2020 by ESPN.
Walker and fellow transfer Te-Hina Paopao (Oceanside, Calif./Oregon) join 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.