Updated April 25, 2022 - 4:31 pm
Spring Valley senior basketball standout Aaliyah Gayles is officially a Southern California Trojan.
Gayles signed her national letter of intent Monday, ensuring that USC will honor her basketball scholarship as she recovers from gunshot wounds sustained this month at a house party in North Las Vegas.
Welcome to the Trojan Family, Aaliyah Gayles!
The McDonald’s and Naismith All-American is the No. 8 rated recruit in the country by ESPN!! pic.twitter.com/WNM4oeIe4B
— USC Women's Basketball (@USCWBB) April 25, 2022
“Aaliyah is one of the most talented, athletically gifted basketball players I’ve known. She is electric on the court, with her ability to score, defend and create for others with her ball-handling and vision,” Trojans coach Lindsay Gottlieb said in a release. “But from the moment I got to know her, I was also drawn to her character. Her humility, loyalty, warm personality and resilience set her apart, along with her athletic gifts.”
Gayles was a McDonald’s All-American last season after averaging 13.8 points, 3.3 assists, 3.5 steals and 4.9 rebounds for the Grizzlies, who qualified for the Class 5A state tournament.
She had three surgeries last week and is expected to use a wheelchair for two months before beginning rehabilitation.
“Aaliyah is quite simply a unique and special young person who worked hard in every aspect to become a Trojan,” Gottlieb said. ”It is these characteristics that, in her recent time of extreme trial, have allowed her to survive and will ensure that she continues to thrive.
”Aaliyah is a part of the USC family and we could not be more proud to be on this journey with her, every step of the way.”