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Dawn Staley adds third five-star 2019 commit with Canadian viral dunking sensation

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Dawn Staley adds third five-star 2019 commit with Canadian viral dunking sensation

November 14, 2018

Dawn Staley and South Carolina’s newest commit is a slam dunk — literally.

Laeticia Amihere, the No. 10-ranked recruit in the class of 2019 who went viral in 2017 after throwing down an in-game dunk at just 15 years old, announced Wednesday that she will attend USC, picking the Gamecocks over Louisville and Kentucky.

In a ceremony at her school in Ontario, Canada, Amihere praised South Carolina’s “winning culture” and said the key factor for her was on her official visit, when coach Dawn Staley was “real with me,” Amihere told her crowd of supporters.

In fact, Amihere liked that Staley went out of her way not to pull out all the stops and impress her. When she visited practice, Staley continued to coach hard and get on players instead of softening her approach, Amihere said.

“She acted like I wasn’t there,” Amihere said.

Amihere stands 6-foot-3 and has already played for her country’s senior national team in exhibitions. She is just returning from an ACL tear that cost her most of the past year.

Prior to that, however, she competed in the 2017 FIBA U19 World Cup, going against future Gamecock Tyasha Harris of the U.S. In that event, she averaged 11.7 points, 7.4 rebounds and 1 block per game, en route to being named to the all-tournament team.

Amihere is South Carolina’s third international freshman recruit under Staley, joining Shay Colley (Canada) in 2015 and Pamela Decheva (Bulgaria) in 2011. Transfers Sarah Imovbioh (Nigeria), Wilka Montout (French Guiana) and Valerie Nainima (Fiji) are the only other non-American Gamecocks in the Staley era.

Amihere’s commitment increases USC’s class to four players — five-stars Zia Cooke and Brea Beal committed last week, while preferred walk-on Olivia Thompson announced her choice this summer. Both Beal and Amihere officially signed on Wednesday.

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