In the city of Mississauga, just west of Toronto, Laeticia Amihere began to play basketball, fitting the stereotype that tall girls play basketball. She didn’t want her answer to continue to be “no” when she was asked if she played the sport; it was just something she was tired of saying. That’s really how it all started for the No. 8 pick in the 2023 WNBA Draft!
Before she started playing, Amihere was a spectator who watched her brothers, Kofi and Benson, play in the driveway. Amihere was drafted with a heavy heart because Kofi died at age 30 last year. Amihere’s aunt, Olga Lambert, who used to always drive her to basketball practice, passed away two months later.
Amihere played her final season at South Carolina with those losses on her mind. Her faith is strong and her strength evident as she continues to accomplish great things in honor of her loved ones.
Amihere owns the 2023 SEC Tournament MVP trophy — because Aliyah Boston gave it to her. Amihere played well in that tournament, but that trophy also symbolizes what she meant to the South Carolina program over her four years. She came in as a member of “The Freshies” and was so crucial to the Gamecocks’ immense success. She sacrificed the spotlight and her contributions off the bench weren’t as heralded as those of the team’s starters. But her impact was felt by her teammates and is well-known to South Carolina’s diehard fans. She still holds the program record for most blocked shots in an NCAA Tournament game (nine, 2021).
Oh nothing just reminiscing before we part ways for the first time in 4 years my best friends I love you guys so much. In the name of Jesus we will all succeed Let’s shock the world ❤️ pic.twitter.com/o41gnnq44K
— Laeticia Amihere (@_Theblackqueen_) April 12, 2023
In high school (King’s Christian Collegiate), Amihere went through the ordeal of two ACL tears and still became the No. 10 Hoopgurlz recruit in the class of 2019. She is known as the first Canadian woman to dunk in a game, doing so at age 15.
Amihere reps Canada to the fullest; she competed for the red and white on the 2021 Olympic women’s basketball team. But she also stays true to West Africa, where both her parents are from. She started the nonprofit Back to the Motherland, which runs basketball clinics for girls in the Ivory Coast. Her goal is to give everyone a chance to play basketball, regardless of how much money they have, remembering when she was a kid and her coach, Kenny Manning, waived the team fees that she was unable to pay.
Amihere leaves college as a national champion and three-time Final Four participant. She was also a regular on the SEC Academic Honor Roll and the SEC Women’s Basketball Community Service Team. Her commitment to helping others provides her with a bright future in anything she does.
As far as her upcoming WNBA career with the Atlanta Dream, everyone is talking about her height (6-foot-4) and wingspan (6-foot-10). She can play any position on the court, even point guard — she has the ability to handle the ball and run an offense, which she displayed at South Carolina. It will be interesting to see what she does in the league.