Is Sakima Walker returning to South Carolina? Taking a closer look at returning Gamecocks for 2024 season

NCAA Womens Basketball: Final Four National Semifinal-South Carolina Practice
Sakima Walker during NCAA Women's Basketball Final Four game

6-foot-5 forward Sakima Walker revealed that she will use her fifth year of eligibility and return to South Carolina. She shared a short highlight video on social media with the caption:

"One more."

At the end of the clip, a letter "W" appears, referencing her last name, Walker, followed by the phrase: "Run it Back."

She also posted several photos on May 24, holding a graduation cap with a tassel. In one of those images, Walker sits on South Carolina's basketball court, deftly spinning a basketball on one finger. The banners in the background showcase the university's basketball alumni.

Walker, a native of Columbus, Ohio, joined USC a year ago after being named the junior college player of the year at Northwest Florida. She previously played two seasons at Rutgers before her time at Northwest Florida and then joined the Gamecocks in 2023.

Sakima Walker appeared in 31 games for South Carolina in the 2023-24 campaign, starting in one, and averaged 2.0 points and 1.3 rebounds per game. She played alongside Te-Hina Paopao and Kamilla Cardoso, guiding the team to national championship glory.

Paopao has announced she will return for her fifth year, whereas Cardoso has joined the Chicago Sky in the WNBA. Walker’s return is crucial for South Carolina, especially following the loss of their top scorer, Cardoso, who was selected third overall by the Sky in the 2024 WNBA draft.

Gamecocks gear up for another exciting season with Sakima Walker back in the lineup

As head coach Dawn Staley and her team aim to defend the title, Sakima Walker's return will benefit South Carolina. In addition, the Gamecocks also landed some young talents from the transfer portal, including Arkansas forward Maryam Dauda.

Dauda, a top high school player who scored 10.1 points and grabbed 6.3 rebounds per game last season, is expected to play an important role in the Gamecocks' frontcourt. She will share the court alongside talented teammates like Ashlyn Watkins, Sania Feagin, and Chloe Kitts, who all bring size and flexibility to the squad.

Additionally, the Gamecocks have welcomed 6-foot-5 freshman Adhel Tac, who joined the team in the middle of last season while healing from a knee injury.

The Gamecocks clinched their third national championship in 2024, and they did it in style. Under Staley's leadership, they had a historic undefeated run, winning all 38 games they played. Although Walker missed the NCAA tournament final, South Carolina still secured the title with an 87-75 win against Caitlin Clark's Iowa Hawkeyes.

What could Alabama basketball's 2024-25 starting lineup look like? Find out here

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