COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - Monday was a big day for Kionna Gaines. The Carver Tigers basketball star signed on the dotted line, as she formally accepted a basketball scholarship from Clemson.
“I feel like the coaches genuinely care about me, and I feel like they can get me to the next level after college because I take this sport very seriously,” Gaines said. “It’s not just a sport to me. It’s more than a sport in that I actually want it because I have big dreams that I want to accomplish.”
Gaines was surrounded by family and friends as she became the second Tiger in as many years to head to an ACC program. She acknowledged her gratitude to her family for their support.
“It felt good because I know it’s important to me and I’m just glad to have them by my side. I’m very thankful for them because of the journey – Lord, the journey, yeah.”
Gaines averaged 14 points, 6 rebounds, and 4 assists a game as a junior, as she helped take Carver to the GHSA Class 4A state semifinals last season. She was also a big part of the Tigers team that won the state championship the season before.
ESPN rates her as the 52nd best player in the nation in the girls prep Class of 2021, and the 19th best guard in the country.