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Gamecock Gala Celebrates South Carolina Athletics

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After a year that saw South Carolina sports shine more than ever, it was time for Gamecock athletes to take off the uniforms and cleats and put on their suits and dresses for the annual Gamecock Gala: a time to honor every Gamecock team.

"Some schools they say, 'Oh, that's a basketball school' or 'That's a football school,' but here all our sports are pretty good," said basketball star Sindarius Thornwell.

While they're used to being asked about game strategies and injury updates, tonight, they were asked about things like their fashion choices.

"I was just going for something simple," South Carolina football kicker Elliott Fry joked. "All black, Calvin Klein shirt and tie."

"Mom tells me all the time to make sure I shave," said South Carolina quarterback Jake Bentley. "You're representing the whole program so just gotta look good."

In a year that saw many highs, Gamecocks say the success of the basketball teams inspired all athletes to keep working hard.

"Our seniors want it more than ever," said South Carolina soccer star Savannah McCaskill. "We've had a taste of the Elite 8 twice now so we definitely wanna break through that and make it to the Final Four."

And while the athletes are pretty familiar with each other, they all had specific people they were hoping to meet at tonight's gala.

"I'd love to have a conversation with Frank Martin," South Carolina baseball star Alex Destino said. "I'm a big fan of his."

"Tyler Johnson!" South Carolina women's basketball star A'ja Wilson said. "That is who I'm looking forward to seeing here! That is my USC crush."

Sindarius Thornwell and A'ja Wilson were named the Gamecock Male and Female athletes of the year, respectively.


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