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NORFOLK – Delaware State junior forward NaJai Pollard was selected as the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) Women’s Basketball Preseason Player of the Year. Hampton was selected as the preseason favorite to win the MEAC this coming season.

South Carolina State was picked 12th. Lady Bulldogs’ guard Bryaesha Blair of Chicago was named to the All-MEAC second team.

All awards are voted on by the conference’s head coaches and sports information directors.

Hampton picked up 13 first-place votes in being named the preseason favorite. Defending regular-season champion Bethune-Cookman was picked to finish second, receiving seven first-place votes, while North Carolina A&T State picked up five first-place votes and was picked to finish third.

Rounding out the rest of the preseason poll are Norfolk State, Howard, Florida A&M, Maryland Eastern Shore (one first-place vote), Morgan State, Coppin State, Savannah State, Delaware State, South Carolina State and North Carolina Central.

Joining Pollard on the Preseason All-MEAC first team are Bethune-Cookman’s Ashanti Hunt, Coppin State’s Genesis Lucas, Hampton’s Monnazjea Finney-Smith and Norfolk State’s Kayla Roberts.

The 2017-18 season begins on Friday, Nov. 10.

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Gamecock women

to get rings

COLUMBIA – The 2017 National Champion South Carolina women’s basketball team will be featured at Saturday’s home football game against Vanderbilt with the Gamecocks honored several times throughout the day, including a halftime ceremony at which the team and bench staff will receive their national championship rings.

Saturday’s activities begin at 2 p.m. with the 2017-18 team signing autographs at Gamecock Village on the team cards provided. There fans can register to receive information about the upcoming release by the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles of a license plate commemorating the program’s first NCAA title. Members of the 2017 championship team will be the celebrity starters for the game, and head coach Dawn Staley will be recognized between the first and second quarters as well.

All members of the 2017 national championship team are expected to be on hand for the halftime ceremony, including the trio of top-10 WNBA Draft picks in Alaina Coates, Kaela Davis and WNBA Rookie of the Year Allisha Gray.

In its final preparation for the 2017-18 season, South Carolina will host Coker in an exhibition game on Friday at 7 p.m. at Colonial Life Arena. Admission is free to the game. The Gamecocks open the regular season a week later, hosting Alabama State on Nov. 10 at 7 p.m.

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Media like Furman

in Southern Conf.

Furman senior Devin Sibley, tabbed to repeat as Southern Conference Player of the Year, has been named to the preseason All-SoCon men’s basketball squad along with fellow senior Daniel Fowler.

The Paladins were picked to claim the league title in voting by the league’s media, while the coaches picked Furman to finish third. Furman grabbed eight of 24 first place votes in the media poll to place ahead of Samford, UNCG, ETSU, Wofford, Mercer, Chattanooga, The Citadel Western Carolina and VMI. The coaches picked Mercer to finish first followed by Samford, Furman, ETSU, UNCG, Wofford, The Citadel, Chattanooga, Western Carolina and VMI.

Also on the preseason All-SoCon team are: Preston Parks, So., G, Cameron Jackson, Jr., F, Wofford, and Fletcher Magee, Jr., G, Wofford.

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Winthrop picked 2nd

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Winthrop was picked second in Tuesday’s preseason poll released at the Big South Media Day.

UNC Asheville was picked to win the league, while Campbell guard Chris Clemons was tagged the preseason player of the year.

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