Mitchell on Receiving the President’s Award
COLUMBIA, S.C. – The University of South Carolina Athletics Department held its annual Gamecock Gala on Monday evening at Colonial Life Arena. The event honored the University’s student-athletes for their accomplishments during the 2015-16 campaign. Student-athletes, administrators, coaches and special guests attended the elegant event, which featured a red carpet entrance, heavy hors d’oeuvres and a special awards ceremony with presentations and video features.
The 2016 President’s Award winner Tiffany Mitchell put together the most decorated career in South Carolina Women’s Basketball history during her time in the Garnet and Black. The program’s first three-time All-American in the SEC era, she was twice named SEC Player of the Year, becoming just the second sophomore to ever claim the award. Her late-game heroics powered the Gamecocks to their first ever NCAA Final Four in 2015, helping her become the first Gamecock ever to be named a finalist for all three national player of the year awards. The two-time team captain has been among the team’s top two scorers and led the team in assists in all three SEC regular-season championship seasons – the first in program history. She is one of three players in school history with at least 1,500 points while also amassing 300 career assists and 200 career steals. She backed up her on-court success with excellence in the classroom, becoming just the second Gamecock to earn CoSIDA Academic All-America status and turning in back-to-back 4.0 semesters.
The 2016 Garnet Award, which symbolizes passion and devotion for Gamecock Athletics, was presented to Jim and Rebecca Shaper. Proud ambassadors of Gamecock Athletics, Jim, a former track and field All-American at Carolina, and Rebecca have shown their devotion to South Carolina through their continuous financial support of numerous athletics programs. They have turned their personal successes into a commitment to further the development of Gamecock student-athletes.
A complete list of award winners for the 2016 Gamecock Gala are listed below:
- SEC H. Boyd McWhorter Award: Stevi Parker (women’s soccer), Kevin Leithold (men’s swimming and diving)
- SEC Brad Davis Community Service Award: Olivia Hassler (women’s track and field), Bobby Bittner (men’s swimming and diving)
- New Student-Athletes of the Year: Emma Barksdale (women’s swimming and diving), David Winters (men’s track and field)
- Scholar-Athletes of the Year: Stevi Parker (women’s soccer)/Lauren Lamendola (women’s swimming and diving), Sean Kelly (men’s golf)
- Community Outreach Team of the Year: Indoor Volleyball
- Athletes of the Year: A’ja Wilson (women’s basketball), Akaram Mahmoud (men’s swimming and diving)/Matt NeSmith (men’s golf)
- Gamecock Inspiration Award: Emily Ball (women’s soccer)
- The Garnet Award: Jim and Rebecca Shaper
- President’s Award: Tiffany Mitchell (women’s basketball)