Under the spotlight: Anna Claire Knight

Photo: Christal Riley

Hayden Boudreaux

This season junior guard Anna Claire Knight has been the leading scorer, ranked second in assists, and has played a vital role for the Georgia Southern University women’s basketball team (5-12, SoCon 3-3).

Anna Claire, who goes by “AC” on the court, has been a big name player her entire career. She attended Trinity Christian School in Dublin, Ga. Knight averaged over 20 points per game her freshman year as Trinity went on to win the state championship.

Throughout the rest of her high school experience Knight was awarded All-State honors four years in a row and scored a school record 3,101 points. Her play in high school also won her the Heart of Georgia Player of the Year four years in a row.

As she was deciding where to take her talents in college she looked to her parents for guidance, both having graduated from GSU. Knight took an official visit where her decision was solidified.

“Both my parents came to school here so I grew up a fan, I loved the team atmosphere and the coaching staff was a big influence, I just loved Georgia Southern,” Knight said.

As a freshman, Knight played immediately, taking the court in all 30 games and started in 12. Through the season she averaged 5.8 points and three rebounds per game with a 37.4 shooting percentage.

Her freshman year was capped off by being named to the SoCon All-Freshman team by the media. However, she was not only stellar on the court but she kept her grades in check as well, being named to the SoCon Academic Honor Roll.

Knight gives much of the credit of her success to her father. She believes that he is one of the main reasons she has come so far.

“My dad taught me how to shoot, how to dribble, he taught me everything I know. He’s not only been a great influence in basketball but in life too, he’s a great role model to follow,” Knight said.

After her productive freshman season, the Lady Eagles had high expectations for Knight’s sophomore season. Continuing to be a threat offensively, she averaged 11.7 points per game and was tied for 16th in the conference in rebounds with 5.7 in the 29 games she started.

By the end of her second season Knight was named SoCon Player of the Week two times, one being awarded after a three-point buzzer beater against Wofford College. Proving yet again that academics were important as well, she was named to the SoCon Academic Honor Roll and the SoCon All-Academic team.

Prior to the start of this season, Knight was only one of two Lady Eagles named to the Preseason All-SoCon team. Expectations were higher than ever and to this point in the season the junior has surpassed all of them.

Currently, Knight ranks third in the SoCon in scoring with 15.7 points per game. In addition to her scoring she ranks 12th in the conference in assists per game and 16th in rebounds.

With certain personal goals heading into the season, Knight made it her priority to have a successful season.

“One of my main focuses this season was to be more aggressive offensively and defensively, and my confidence has grown so much this year, which I think has been a huge help,” Knight said.

The Lady Eagles still have a long stretch of SoCon games ahead of them and will heavily rely on the junior standout to put them in position to win the conference. Knight understands that she will need to be at her best and still has her list of things she wants to improve.

“I want to keep being aggressive, work on finding the ball quicker, and working with my teammates so we can dig down and get more wins in the long run,” Knight said.

After a 17-point showing in the loss to Elon University, Knight and the Lady Eagles will return to the court this Saturday to swing momentum back in their favor against SoCon opponent Davidson College. The last of the Lady Eagles three-game home stretch will take place at 5 p.m. in Hanner Fieldhouse.