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Nesmith latest local student-athlete to opt for Piedmont College
Kiera Nesmith - photo by Mark Lastinger/staff
Once they made their decision, it helped me make mine because I am friends with all of them.
Kiera Nesmith

 RINCON —  Piedmont College is turning into a home away from home for a growing number student-athletes in Effingham County.

South Effingham basketball player Kiera Nesmith became the latest to join the exodus to the NCAA Division III school in Demorest. On Thursday, she signed a letter to intent to join the Lady Lions. 

South Effingham baseball players Devin Stefanski and Jakob Valleroy signed with Piedmont College a few weeks ago. Volleyball standout Brianna King and tennis star Dakota Wilkes, of Effingham County did likewise.

“Once they made their decision, it helped me make mine because I am friends with all of them,” Nesmith said.

Nesmith was swayed toward Piedmont as soon as she saw the campus and met Lady Lions head coach Jamie Purdy.

“About ninety percent of the students are student-athletes,” Nesmith said. “Brianna and I talked and I decided, ‘I’m going to go there. We feel in love with the school.

“It’s a small school in a small county (Habersham) just like here. Everybody knows everybody in school, classes and everything.”

Nesmith hopes to make an immediate impact upon her arrival in Demorest. The Lady Lions just finished their 2018-19 season with a 23-6 mark, losing to No. 20 Transylvania 77-67 in the NCAA Division III tournament.

Academically, Nesmith will pursue a degree in sports and fitness administration.

“Hopefully, I can do something with that — either coaching or fitness or both of them,” she said. “I am going in there with a plan.”