Today’s Know a Gamecock features women’s basketball junior Valerie Nainima. A 5’5 guard from Suva, Fiji, Nainima came to the Gamecocks as a transfer from Long Island University. In her first season with the Gamecocks, the guard leads the team in scoring with 17.8 points per game.
What’s a talent you’d like to have?
A leadership talent – to be able to direct people. I’d like to lead them in the right direction.
What’s your most treasured possession?
My Bible. I’m a huge believer in God. He’s brought me a long way to be here and I know there’s a purpose for the. The Bible is close to my heart.
What’s your greatest fear?
Dying without doing my purpose – whatever my purpose is.
If you could sit down with any three people, who would they be?
My mom, my pastor back home and LeBron James.
What’s your dream job?
To play professional basketball. If that wasn’t an option, it would be definitely to run an international hotel chain because I’d be rich and could travel anywhere and stay in my own hotel. [The Editor: Why’d you pick that profession?] Tourism is huge in Fiji so I know a lot about hotels.
What’s your idea of a perfect meal?
It’s a meal we make in Fiji that is cooked underground. We cover chicken and all this stuff in leaves and foil. The ground oven is pre-heated so we put the food in and we cover it and then we bring it out to eat.
Do you have a particular pre-game routine?
I do have a routine. Superstitions, not really. I have to sleep even if it’s just for 20 minutes. I always shower before I sleep. I wake up, I pray and then we drive over to the venue we’re playing at.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
Nothing. I’m fine with myself. If you asked me two years ago, I would’ve said my height. I’m good with that now.
What’s your greatest achievement so far?
Making my mother smile. She’s smiling now. She brought us up by herself and it was hard for her, but now she’s smiling.
What’s one place you’d like to visit before you die?
What are the last three songs you listened to?
Do you want me to say their names? They’re all from Fiji. [The Editor: We’ll just leave it at that.]
What was the last book you read?
The Bible. I don’t read too many books unless it’s for class.