Laeticia Amihere is emerging as a leader, on and off the pitch. Whether it’s scoring, bouncing, or blocking shots, the junior redshirt of the South Carolina women’s basketball team was a big contributor off the bench last year in another run. in the NCAA Final Four for the Gamecocks. She also makes an impact with her voice and recently participated in a Women’s Basketball Coaches Association virtual listening session on women’s sports hosted by the White House Gender Policy Council.
“I knew it would get a lot of attention because it’s something so simple,” Amihere said. “Just treating ourselves the same (like men) is something we shouldn’t beg for in the 21st.st century. I’m sure all the work I’ve done, and all the work the coaches have done, is going to make a difference for us.
“They invited people who have been very active on the issues at hand and people who have been leaders on campus. When something happens, I use my voice and my platform to bring awareness to it. It’s important for people who don’t know what’s going on It was an honor for me to be chosen and to represent my school and women’s basketball so that I can use my voice for them.
“If it reaches the level of the White House, it means we’ve done our job.”
The purpose of the session was to ensure that the challenges and needs of female athletes are part of the White House Gender Policy Council’s whole-of-government strategy to advance gender equity and equality. Several other female basketball student-athletes, coaches, including the head coach of South Carolina Dawn Staley, and administrators, as well as several administration officials of President Joe Biden attended the session.
Among the topics Amihere talked about the most over the past year was the inequalities she saw between the NCAA men’s and women’s basketball tournaments, including the huge initial disparity in this. which was made available to women regarding weight room facilities.
“You see inequalities with the weight room, the gift bag and that sort of thing, and you see the women’s basketball not being held in as high regard as the men,” Amihere said. “Even when it comes to using ‘March Madness’ for the (women’s) tournament. It was something that couldn’t have happened until this year.”
Amihere played every game for the Gamecocks last year, averaging 6.8 points and 5.5 rebounds per game, while placing third on the team in blocked shots. She is also a two-time member of the SEC Community Service Team. Even with a plate full between basketball, academics, and serving, Amihere stressed the importance of speaking up when she sees something wrong.
“The things we asked about were very small to me, but they are very important to women’s basketball. When these things are fixed, we can move forward and inspire the next generation of young women. to expect the same treatment as men. “
It’s one thing to speak out, but seeing change happen and having an audience with the White House Gender Policy Council, Amihere knows her voice is being heard.
“If it reaches the level of the White House, it means we’ve done our job,” Amihere said. “We have done our outreach work. I am very confident that we are going to make a difference. You have already seen that with our ability to use ‘March Madness’ to promote the women’s tournament.”
Amihere recently spoke with SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey about gender equity, and while no formal announcements have yet been made, she looks forward to seeing more changes. in a close future. As she prepares for the next basketball season, Amihere will continue to actively speak out on equity issues.
“It’s an ongoing conversation,” Amihere said. “We have meetings throughout the year to talk about what’s going on and to make sure that stuff doesn’t happen again.”