Standout guard Kanna Suzuki to resume hoop career at University of South Carolina Aiken

by Ed Odeven

Staff Writer

Redshirt sophomore point guard Kanna Suzuki is moving on to the University of South Carolina Aiken to begin the next chapter of her college basketball career.

This week, the South Georgia Technical College student formally accepted a scholarship offer from the NCAA Division II school.

Previously, Suzuki helped guide the South Georgia Tech women’s basketball team to the 2017 National Junior Collegiate Athletic Association national tournament.

Suzuki, who hails from Hamatsu, was the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association’s 2016-17 Freshman of the Year. She averaged 9.1 points, 4.8 assists and 1.8 steals in 35 games (32 starts). Before the Lady Jets’ 2017-18 campaign started, Suzuki suffered a torn ACL and missed the season. She rehabilitated her knee and keep busy in the classroom, earning an associate’s degree in sports and fitness management. Suzuki received the SGTC Student of Excellence accolade for October.

“I’m beyond excited for Kanna that she will have her bachelor’s and master’s degrees paid for now since she has three years of eligibility remaining,” Lady Jets coach James Frey told The Japan Times.

Frey said that South Georgia Tech is adding two Japan-born players to the team’s roster for the upcoming season, Mari Hill and Rio Yamazaki.

As a freshman, the 165-cm Hill averaged 5.9 points and 2.1 assists in 34 games for the Tallahassee Eagles this past season. She scored a season-high 14 on March 23 against Gulf Coast State College. Hill graduated from Asuwa Senior High School in Fukui Prefecture. She prepared for junior college ball by attending IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida.

Like Hill before her, Yamazaki, who is from Chiba Prefecture, attended IMG this academic year to get ready for the rigors of college ball.