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home : sports : local sports August 28, 2014

Natural Born Leader
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Jacob Lethco
Staff Writer

Tianna Swearinger was born to be an athlete. With both of her parents being accomplished athletes in high school, her mother went on to be an All-American as a basketball player at Benedict College. Her brother, former University of South Carolina Gamecock free safety, D.J. Swearinger, will likely be selected in the 2013 NFL Draft after being a four year starter at South Carolina.

It is only fitting that the youngest Swearinger, only a sophomore in high school, has found herself as a leader for the 16-1 Greenwood Lady Eagles basketball team.

“I am blessed to have come from such an athletic family,” Swearinger said. “D.J. (Swearinger) set the bar pretty high, so that just pushes me to be the best I can be.”

Playing in 4A competition can be pressure filled, so having someone to look up to that has already experienced similar pressure, and more, has been an advantage for Swearinger.

“Most everything I know about the game, I’ve learned from D.J. and my mom,” said Swearinger. “When he (D.J.) played, he was a great guard. He has shown me how to use my quickness, how to handle pressure situations, and how to lead. I feel like you don’t have to be a senior to be a leader, so I try to be vocal with all my teammates. I think I’m able to get in there and keep everyone calm, make sure they know what they are doing, and keep my game where it’s supposed to be, try to lead by example.”

Swearinger’s mentality as a leader is something rare, a trait valued by head coach Susan Thompson.

“That’s something that has been instilled in her probably since the day she was born,” Thompson said with a laugh. “Even the older girls, the seniors, look up to her. She leads by example, works really hard. With her working hard, it gives her a reason to fuss at others if they’re not working hard. The best thing is that she has two more years left. You can just imagine how good of a leader she will turn into her junior and senior years.”

Described by her coach as the “total package” offensively, Swearinger has been key in the Eagles’ success thus far this season.

“She (Swearinger) has a great knowledge of the game,” Thompson said. “She sees the floor well and takes good shots. She can shoot it from outside and penetrate, just an all around good player.”

The Lady Eagles’ only loss of the season came on the road against J.L. Mann. Currently in second place in Region I-4A, the Lady Eagles will travel to T.L. Hanna Tuesday and Easley on Friday, in preparation for a showdown with J.L. Mann at home in the season finale the following week. If they were to win their final three games, it would force a playoff for first place in the region. According to Swearinger, the Lady Eagles are hoping to gain some momentum leading into the playoffs, expecting to improve on last season’s third round playoff exit.

“We want to go all the way to state,” Swearinger said. “The first step is winning the region, going to the playoffs, and then not losing from here on out.”

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Reader Comments

Posted: Saturday, February 2, 2013
Article comment by: k Colie

Thanks!!! BOOO Coleman!!!!!

Posted: Friday, February 1, 2013
Article comment by: Pete Stathakis

I must admit, eventhough her family lives beside me, I have never spoken to her. Maybe a wave or a smile, but that's about it. I have never seen a person so dedicated to a sport as she is. A few years ago, I thoight to myself, "That kid is gonna go somewhere". Very tallented and very dilligent in her chosen sport. Good for her! It's always good to hear about when a good person excells at something they enjoy.
Sincerely, Pete Stathakis

Posted: Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Article comment by: Tom Butler

T is a great student athlete! She and her brother got that part of the equation correct. I have never met a young lady with the drive to be the best on a daily basis as she has. She wants to be the best player and student. Plainly she wants to be the best at everything she does. Her brother had that same quality. Mr. and Mrs. Swearinger how did you do such a great job? I can truely give this young lady the best compliment I can think of. I hope my two daughters grow up to be just like her!!!!!

Posted: Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Article comment by: True Ballers BA (SC)

First of all and MOST importantly, Tianna is an excellent young lady!! It all starts with the value system that has forged her character..testament to parents and family! All of this was in progress before anyone knew she'd be an athlete! Her being successful is a foregone conclusion, all that remains is what profession she decides to pursue. Oh, I amost forgot, she DOES play basketball. And she's a 5 tool player IQ, shooting, ballhandling, passing and defense!! She has already been "tagged" by many colleges, the offers will start coming soon! Mr. & Mrs. Swearinger, what a wonderful, repsectful and respectable young lady you have raised. I'm just proud to say I know her!

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