“Never underestimate the power of dreams and the influence of the human spirit. We are all the same in this notion. The potential for greatness lives within each of us.”
Dominance in any sport is underpinned by more than just raw talent. Superior athletes are willing to work in order to achieve greatness.
Union County High School basketball standout Kristin Giles is the complete package.
Her desire to be the best player on the court is supported by the countless hours she spends in the gym, sharpening skills that have already placed her in an elite category.
“Kristin has an amazing work ethic,” said UCHS Basketball Coach Angela Burke. “She was almost doing two-a-days during the season. She’d leave our practice and then go practice some more. She’s driven, there’s no doubt about that.”
Giles was courted by several college basketball programs including Gardner Webb, North Greenville, Lander and Frances Marion before she settled on Erskine College who offered her a full scholarship.
“She went for a visit at Erskine last month and she decided pretty quickly that it was where she needed to be,” said Burke.
Last Wednesday, Giles made her commitment to Erskine official when she signed a letter of intent in the UCHS library surrounded by family and friends.
“Erskine has a good basketball program,” said Giles. “I really liked the campus atmosphere when I visited in March, even though its out in the middle of nowhere. I’m excited about being out on my own for the first time.”
Academically, Erskine makes sense for Giles, who is interested in the college’s dual engineering program with Clemson.
“I think she’ll do well at Erskine both academically and athletically,” said Burke. “She’s very intelligent and she’s very determined.”
According to Burke, Giles could easily slide into a starting position on Erskine’s basketball team.
“They may call on her to run the point some but at this level she’ll more likely be a No. 2 guard,” said Burke. “They’re going to be pretty young with a lot of freshmen and sophomores so this is a good opportunity for her to step in and be a leader right away.”
Giles led UCHS to a Region III-AAA championship last season and averaged 16.7 points per game with 3.1 rebounds, 3.7 steals and 4.4 assists. She was an all-region and all-state selection.
Giles was first spotted by Erskine recruiting coach Tasha James in March at Greenville’s FCA All-Star Basketball Challenge.
“She told me that she liked how quick I was and how I handled the ball,” said Giles who’s stellar season had earned her an invitation to compete in the showcase game.
Despite playing limited minutes due to frequent substitutions, she turned in a team high 11 points and dished out six assists.
“I’m hoping to step down from point guard and be a two or three at Erskine,” she said.
In addition to her ball handing capabilities, speed and dedication, Giles offers Erskine a sure-handed shooter who can also knock the eyes out from anywhere on the court.
She eclipsed 1,000 career points at UCHS midway through her senior year.
In addition to being dedicated, Giles is a play making sharp shooter who can score from anywhere on the court.
“When I’m open, I take the shots,” she explained. “I work on my shot and on dribbling as much as I can.”
Giles, also a member of the UCHS softball team, admitted that being a two-sport athlete keeps her from devoting as much time as she’d like to the hardwood. But once spring sports wind down, she’ll be 100 percent committed to basketball.
“We should have a strong team this year and I plan on being a big part of it,” said Giles. “I’m going to do whatever I have to do — not just to get some playing time — I plan to be a starter.”