Troup alum Aniya Palmer makes collegiate debut with Georgia State

Published 3:35 pm Tuesday, November 7, 2023

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The collegiate debut for Troup alum Aniya Palmer was a long time in the making. The former Tiger basketball player sat out most of her senior high school season with a significant injury, redshirted her freshman year at Mississippi State and then transferred to Georgia State in the offseason.

Monday was the night when the Georgia State Panthers hosted Berry in the 2023-24 season opener. Palmer laced up her shoes, put on the white jersey with the number 15 on the back, and hit the court once again.

“I knew this day was coming, but it took forever to get here,” Palmer said. “Now that it’s here I’m just looking forward to a great season.

“I didn’t even really sleep last night I was so excited to play again.”

The redshirt freshman did not start but was quickly inserted into the game in the first quarter and played in all four quarters, making an impact all over the court. 

She did not score until the second half when she connected on a tough contested fadeaway on her first shot of the game that rattled in for two points. She finished the game with five points, six rebounds and three assists. 

“When coach called me to go in, I knew that I wanted to make an impact in whatever way I can,” Palmer said. “Whether it was playing great defense or making the next pass. I just wanted to do whatever I could to help out the team.”

Palmer offers the team a long defensive presence as she was easily able to disrupt the Berry passing lanes and easily corral defensive rebounds in the paint. She finished the game with two steals on her stat line. 

She knows there is room for improvement after her debut, but to hit the court once again and make an impact on the game meant the world to Palmer.

“It was exciting to be back out there and it reminds me about what I can do and what I’m capable of doing,” Palmer said.

Georgia State, sitting in the heart of Atlanta, is not a long distance for her relatives to travel to see her make her debut, and Palmer was quick to head to the stands after the Panthers 78-41 victory.

“My uncle, my aunties, my cousins were here, it was special,” Palmer said. 

This was not the only Troup County connection present in the GSU Convocation Center on Monday as Panther head coach Gene Hill is a graduate of LaGrange High. He made sure to remind Palmer who won the LaGrange-Troup football game this year after the post-game press conference, much to the chagrin of Palmer. 

Hill and Palmer have forged a natural bond since she transferred to Georgia State earlier this year. 

“He loves bringing up LaGrange (High) any chance he gets,” Palmer said. “I always tell him go Tigers. He really is a great coach, and I’m happy to be able to be coached by him.”

Palmer will get her next chance to flash her skills on Friday when Georgia State hosts Western Michigan. 

“This just made me hungry,” Palmer said, flashing a smile. “I’m ready now.”