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Markeshia Grant Shares 3-Point Competition Experience

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WBB-11 Markeshia Grant vs. Tennessee.jpeg"Markeshia Grant hits the three!"

Gamecock fans were thrilled to hear those words several times this season as senior point guard Markeshia Grant's three-point shooting prowess helped lead the team to victory on multiple occasions. One of the biggest nights for her clutch shooting was the victory over Tennessee in Knoxville, in which Grant hit seven three-pointers en route to a career-high 27 points.

Her shooting put her on the radar for Intersport as they looked for participants in their annual State Farm College Slam Dunk & 3-Point Championships leading up to the Final Four of the NCAA Tournament in New Orleans. Intersport approached Assistant Media Relations Director Diana Koval with women's basketball about Grant participating. Koval, Grant and head coach Dawn Staley all thought it was a great idea and Grant got the process rolling to be the first South Carolina player to ever participate in the event.

Grant flew to New Orleans on Wednesday, March 28, to get settled in and meet the other participants. The group had some time to walk around and explore New Orleans before heading to the gym for media interviews and pictures.

Markeshia Grant 3-point.jpg"There was an instant connection with the other girls that were competing, in particular Becky Burke from Louisville and Brittany Rayburn from Purdue (pictured left with Grant making funny faces) although we had played them like a week or so before that," said Grant. "It was just interesting to get to know everyone - know how their coaches work, practices, know how their team works.  It was like a sisterhood."

On Thursday, with the group not scheduled to leave for the gym until around 4:30 p.m. CT, Grant spent most of the day in her hotel room catching up on school work and emailing professors. While Grant didn't perform as well as she had hoped in the competition later that night, she admitted that the almost three hour gap between when they arrived and practiced and the start of the competition gave her a little too much time to think about it and get nervous.

Even just being a participant gave her a great opportunity to represent the Gamecocks on national TV on ESPN. She carefully chose her attire for the event, deciding to wear her Garnet uniform because the team didn't wear it much this season on the road and she wanted to stand out with something different. She also wore her "I Wear Garnet on Gameday" t-shirt as her warm-up shirt to make sure everyone knew she was a Gamecock.

All the 3-point competition participants stuck around for the exciting slam dunk competition then made their way to a Final Four Kick-Off Party at the House of Blues. Grant shared that it was exciting to see a lot of big names she doesn't normally get to see in person like coaches from other schools and TV commentators. She hopes to keep in contact with the friends she made, with most of the players having connected with each other on Facebook and Twitter and exchanging cell numbers.

"It was a great opportunity," Grant said happily. "I really enjoyed myself."

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