When it comes to social media accounts, Hassani Gravett has one of the more unique Twitter names of all South Carolina student-athletes. You can find him at the handle @BestThingSince_.
That’s an underscore at the end, put in place so people can fill in what they want to be in life.
“You can put whatever you want after it,” Gravett said in an April interview with Spurs & Feathers. “I’ll be the best thing since… I don’t like to single it down to anything in particular.
“That’s just me. The lion.”
Gravett was a polarizing figure during his three-year South Carolina career. He went from Pensacola State College to being key bench player on the Gamecocks’ Final Four team, from starting in an erratic junior season to being named the SEC Sixth Man of the Year as a senior.
Gravett said in April he was going to head to Las Vegas for pre- NBA Draft workouts and try to earn a spot on a roster. He said he wants to keep playing basketball for as long as he can.
This past season, Gravett scored in double-figures 19 times. He led or shared the team lead in scoring four times and in assists eight times. He also had 20 games with multiple 3-pointers.
His 23 points in a home win over Coastal Carolina marked a career high. He scored an SEC season high 22 points in the road victory at Florida, a performance highlighted by four 3-pointers.
Spurs & Feathers sat down with Gravett in early April and talked about his Gamecock career. Here’s an excerpt from the interview.
Spurs & Feathers: What are you going to remember most about being a Gamecock and your time in Columbia?
Hassani Gravett: Basketball-wise, just all the things that the coaches have instilled in me and taught me. The character they’ve built in me. Off the court, Gamecock Nation, the support people showed me. I will always appreciate that and keep that near and dear to me. I’m just going to miss it. It’s kind of unbelievable that it’s coming to an end. But at the same time, I feel I’ve been in college for quite some time. I’m looking forward to new beginnings.
S&F: What do you want people to remember most about you?
HG: I want to be remembered by the impact I had on people’s lives through the program, whether that be teammates or fans. I want them to remember me as that guy that always left it on the court. I just always gave it everything that I had, each minute I played on the court.
S&F: Coach Martin talked at the end of this season about your exit meeting with him after last season. He kind of admitted he was unsure about your role going forward and talked about the ups and downs of your career. What do you remember about that meeting?
HG: Frank’s a real guy. It was one of those things where no one was really sure. I wasn’t sure myself. But the confidence I had in myself and knowing the capability of what I can do, I looked forward to this season. As [people] may or may not know, I was pretty badly injured last year with my ankle situation. It hindered me and it didn’t really allow me to do things I wanted to do. But this year I was able to maintain my health and give the program and the fans more of what I’m capable of doing. I was able to show some more athleticism in the paint, finishing around the rim. And I shot the ball at a very high clip this year. I think, through all the struggles that I have had, just maintaining a positive mindset and having those that support me, was why I was able to be successful this year.
S&F: What’s it like playing for Frank?
HG: Without a doubt, you know he has real love for you. And it may be tough love, but at the end of the day, you know coming in to this program that you’re going to be with someone that’s 100 [percent honest] with you every day. He’s not going to sugarcoat anything. He’s going to grab you and he’s going to give you the facts and the real about every situation, whether that be life or on the court.
S&F: You went from JUCO ball to the Final Four in one year. What was that like?
HG: When you go back and look, I’m definitely thankful for the opportunity Frank blessed me with coming here. It was miraculous, coming from JUCO to a D-I and going as far as we did in the tournament that year. I look forward to maybe making some more memories like that in the future.
S&F: Do you remember your first basket as a Gamecock against Newberry?
HG: [Without hesitation] A free throw. First bucket in my collegiate career here at South Carolina was a nice little easy free throw.
S&F: What do you remember about beating Duke in Greenville?
HG: Out of all the games in the tournament, I would say that, without a doubt, that was probably the most exciting. We knew we were good enough to be in the tournament and everything, but there was a lot of doubt, a lot of doubters. A lot of haters. But we had the confidence in ourselves because we knew what we were capable of. Duke was leading at the half and we weren’t really shooting well in the beginning. But coach really didn’t need to draw up a game plan. We knew what we were doing out there. He just told us we know we can hang with these boys. Let’s just make some shots and we’ll be good. And that’s exactly what we did. The fact that we played in Greenville, close to home, and had that support that we had out there, I’ll always cherish those moments.
S&F: How nice was it to end your career on a high note this season?
HG: The setbacks I had and the comeback I was able to have this year, I think the success I was able to have will carry over into my future career, confidence-wise. I’m looking forward to turning more heads and opening more eyes, just showing the world what I’m capable of, what I can do, what I can bring to a team. How I can impact lives on and off the court. I look forward to representing the school, the coaches, my family and whoever wants to support.