South Carolina head men’s basketball coach Darrin Horn announced on Wednesday the signing of two student-athletes to National Letters of Intent to attend South Carolina and join the men’s basketball squad beginning with the 2011-12 season.
Damien Leonard (G – 6-5 – 190 – Greenville, S.C. – J.L. Mann) and Anthony Gill (F – 6-8 – 210 – Charlotte, N.C. – Charlotte Christian School) will don the Garnet and Black next season. Both student-athletes will enter their first year at Carolina with four years of eligibility.
“These two additions to our roster represent a class that will continue to make us better as a team,” Horn said. “Our goals at South Carolina are to compete at the highest level, and both Damien and Anthony will add talent and athletic ability to our team as we continue to build our program here at South Carolina.”
Damien Leonard (G – 6-5 – 190 – Greenville, S.C. – J.L. Mann)
Four-star prospect, No. 99 overall and No. 29 shooting guard according to ESPN.com … Four-star position prospect, No. 24 shooting guard according to Scout.com … Four-star prospect, No. 86 overall and No. 22 shooting guard according to Rivals.com … Averaged 22 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists per game as a junior … One of the premier shooters in the country … Drew attention from Arizona, Texas, Clemson, Oklahoma State and Virginia Tech … Chose South Carolina over Clemson and Oklahoma State.
Horn on Leonard…
“Damien is an excellent outside shooter, and he will thrive in our system because of his ability around the perimeter. As a staff, it is one of our top priorities in recruiting to sign the top players in the state of South Carolina, and with Damien, we were able to do that.”
AAU Coach Willis Holliday on Leonard…
“Damien is really excited about signing with the Gamecocks. The recruiting process was a long one for him, and he felt, at the end of the day, South Carolina was the best place for him. Representing the state school and helping them build a championship program is something that he is looking forward to. He already has great relationships with the players on the team, as well as the staff. I am looking forward to watching him play for Darrin Horn.”
Anthony Gill (F – 6-8 – 225 – Charlotte, N.C. – Charlotte Christian School)
Four-star position rating, No. 74 overall and No. 17 forward according to Scout.com … Four-star position prospect, No. 81 overall and No. 15 forward according to ESPN.com … No. 28 power forward and Top 150 player overall according to Rivals.com … Averaged 18 points, 8 rebounds, 2 blocks, 1 assist and 1 steal during junior season … An excellent rebounder and consistent performer underneath the basket as well as outside … A CISAA/NCISAA All-Conference and all-state performer during prep career … Former AAU teammate of current South Carolina student-athlete Brian Richardson … Choose South Carolina over Virginia and Wake Forest.
Horn on Gill…
“Anthony comes from an outstanding high school program at Charlotte Christian and will bring great versatility to our team. He is an excellent rebounder and will bring a different element to our lineup than any player we currently have on our roster. He is a high-character young man, and we as a staff think he is one of the most underrated players in the country. Anthony’s best basketball is ahead of him.”
Charlotte Christian Head Coach Shonn Brown on Gill…
“Anthony Gill is a special young man uniquely gifted by God. Charlotte Christian is extremely proud of Anthony and this great accomplishment of earning a basketball scholarship to South Carolina. Anthony is very skilled. He is one of the best finishers that I have had the privilege of coaching. He is physical, and he can score the basketball inside and out. Anthony is an ambassador of the game, and he has a solid Christian faith. We celebrate this great moment for Anthony, knowing that he will impact the culture for Christ by using his basketball talents to the glory of God.”