basketball Edit

Getting to know Laeticia Amihere

SOUTH CAROLINA GAMECOCKS BASKETBALL

The Gamecocks are bringing in the No. 1 recruiting class this season, which was started in January with Laeticia Amihere enrolling ready to rehab her injured knee.

Amihere goes in depth here on her rehab, Team Canada, what she brings to the team and what it's like to be part of a historic women's basketball class.

Courtesy Getty Images
Courtesy Getty Images

Q: You’ve obviously been here since January, do you feel like the elder statesman of the recruiting class?

LA: I’m just trying to soak in as much as I can. I walked in with the mindset knowing I’m the first freshman to be here. I’m just soaking in as much as I can so I can transition in with them.

Q: How goes the rehab with your knee?

LA: It’s going real well. I’m working hard everyday, getting in the gym. I just want to be out there with my team.

Q: How hard is rehab on you mentally?

LA: It happens in sports. I’m not the only one who’s been through a knee injury so having that in mind, and I’m with a great staff with great facilities. Every day I’m with great people.

Q: What made you choose South Carolina?

LA: It was pretty obvious when I got on my visit. The realness of the staff, they don’t sugarcoat anything and that’s what I need. That’s real toughness I need to grow my game.

Q: What do you hope to accomplish at South Carolina?

LA: I want to accomplish a lot. I’m setting goals really high: championships, I want to go to the Final Four every year and just get better with my team and prove we really are the number one recruiting class.

Q: Can you give us a self-scouting report on yourself?

LA: Rebounding. That’s what I’m known for: getting up, getting the rebound and breaking out. That’s really my game and I’m excited to bring that to my team.

Q: What’s it like to be part of the No. 1 recruiting class in the country?

LA: Like our trainer, Molly, said—she tells us everyday—the number one recruiting class is based off what we did in high school and now we’re in college. We have that, we’re proud of that and now we’re focused on being the best team we can. We know we have a chip on our shoulder but a lot of teams do. We’re not really thinking about the number one recruiting class.

Q: You’re from Canada, how’d you find your way down to South Carolina, and do you know AJ Lawson well?

LA: I know AJ from team Canada as well; I know Coach Staley, she works with the US team and I’m with the Canadian team. My head coach from the Canadian team knows Dawn so there’s that relationship.

Q: Coming in as a big, the comparisons to A’ja Wilson will obviously come, how do you manage that internally?

LA: I think it’s obvious there’s only one A’ja Wilson. It’s a pretty high expectation but I’m just trying to not only be player she was on the court but she was a great role model as well. I just want to be that, help my team, show out with the community and be a great person.

Q: What’s basketball like in Canada?

LA: It’s growing a lot. Just seeing not a lot of people come to your games and not a lot of people supporting Canada to RJ Barrett is the cornerstone of Canadian basketball that’s a great example right there, Kia Nurse. They’re just showing out for Canadian basketball. We’re lagging a little bit but right now for the women’s we’re fifth in the world. We’re just trying to grow, grow and one day get to where the US is right now.

Q: How do you personally hope to impact that growth?

LA: My goal is to go to the 2020 Olympics. That’s always been my goal and I’m sticking with it. I’m just excited to help Canadian basketball rise.

Q: You’ve been a social media star since you dunked in high school, when can fans expect a dunk at Colonial Life Arena?

LA: Whenever is the perfect time. Two points is two points; I just want to make sure I get my two points. If the opportunity presents itself, then I’ll be glad to do it.”

Q: Is dunking something you take pride in since not many women can do it?

LA: I feel like more and more these days more women’s basketball players are trying to dunk and you see it more on social media. I’m just happy me and other people are starting that trend.