Back in the peach state: Troup alum Aniya Palmer talks transfer to Georgia State
Published 4:00 pm Thursday, July 13, 2023
Aniya Palmer has found a new home in Atlanta. The former Troup basketball star recently transferred from Mississippi State back to the peach state as she is going to suit up for the Georgia State Panthers starting in her redshirt freshman year in the fall.
“It was an extremely hard decision, and there were days where I didn’t even want to talk with coaches and needed a break from all of that,” Palmer said. “You have to make the best decision for yourself at the end of the day and I did that.”
Atlanta is in stark contrast to her former home in Starkville, Mississippi. Balancing her new surroundings will be a challenge, but Palmer has found the transition to be pretty seamless.
“It is a totally different ball game… It is a big transition, but I know I have to keep a balance between Atlanta and what I’m really here for,” Palmer said.
It was a tough decision for Palmer to enter the transfer portal after a lone season at Mississippi State. As she was still recovering from a major shoulder injury during her senior year at high school, she expected to sit out her freshman year and get the redshirt title. But, as the year wore on, she felt a calling to be closer to home.
“I wanted to be closer to home and be closer to my hometown,” Palmer said. “I’m looking forward to having [my family] come out and have them supporting me.”
There was an instant connection between her and GSU women’s basketball coach Gene Hill, also a native of Troup County and a former standout basketball player at LaGrange High. Hill was one of the major draws to Georgia State when she was perusing her options.
“He really understands me, especially because we are from the same area,” Palmer said. “We have a really good relationship.
“I know he will look out for me, and he didn’t bring me here just to have me here, he’s invested in me.”
Palmer is one of the best, if not the best, women’s basketball player to come out of Troup despite losing practically her entire senior year to injury. She helped lead the Tigers to their best finish in program history when they played in the AAAA state championship during her freshman season (2020).
Despite the distance between where she is now and her high school career, she has fond memories of suiting up for the Tigers and coach Carla Thornton.
“I really remember that atmosphere and playing with that group of girls and being coached by coach Thornton.
Now, she has both eyes on the future, looking forward to what she believes will be a successful first campaign with the Panthers.
“We are going to start by winning the conference and then go from there,” Palmer said with confidence.
Palmer has been on campus for the last month as she grinds through the summer workouts with the Panthers. She will not have to wait long for her first taste of college basketball action with the Georgia State season set to start at the end of October/early November.