South Carolina guard Rivers entering transfer portal

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Saniya Rivers, part of South Carolina’s No. 1 women’s basketball recruiting class this past season, has entered the NCAA transfer portal a day after the Gamecocks celebrated their national championship with a downtown parade.

Rivers announced her choice on social media Thursday. She’s third South Carolina player to enter the portal since the team won the NCAA Tournament with a 64-49 victory over UConn on April 3.

Rivers said in her post winning the national title was an “experience of a lifetime.” She thanked coach Dawn Staley, the staff, her teammates and fans.

“With that being said, I will be entering my name into the transfer portal with 3 years of eligibility remaining to further pursue my academic and athletic career goals,” she ended.

Two other reserves, sophomore Eniya Russell and senior Elysa Wesolek, also plan to transfer.

Rivers is a 6-foot-1 guard from Wilmington, North Carolina. She played in 27 games, all off the bench, and averaged 2.3 points and 1.6 rebounds per game.

Rivers likely would’ve played a reserve role next season, too, with guards Zia Cooke and Brea Beal returning. The Gamecocks also added Georgia Tech guard Kierra Fletcher, who was second on the team in scoring her last two seasons there.

Rivers’ freshman teammate Raven Johnson was injured in the second game this past season and was out for the rest of the year. She is expected to take over at point guard for Destanni Henderson, who was selected by the Indiana Fever in the WNBA draft this week.

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More AP women’s college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/womens-college-basketball and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-womens-college-basketball-poll and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25

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