Here’s what Dawn Staley needed to say at USC’s title parade

They are saying everybody loves a parade. That actually appeared to be the case Wednesday night for College of South Carolina girls’s basketball coach Dawn Staley.

The Gamecocks’ coach was ebullient as she addressed a big crowd in downtown Columbia at a celebration on the north garden of the S.C. State Home following a parade down Important Avenue. The festivities have been in honor of the Gamecocks latest nationwide championship. It’s the second nationwide title for Staley and the USC girls’s program.

Staley stated there was a component of future to the Gamecocks’ title.

“I know when we get together like this, everybody wants to hear something so profound, right?” Staley informed the gang. “Here’s the most profound thing I have to say: The victory was won before it was played.”

The Gamecocks have been the preeminent group in girls’s school basketball through the 2021-22 season. The group completed with a file of 35-2, and was ranked No. 1 from the start of the season to the tip. The Gamecocks closed their championship run with a dominant 64-49 win in opposition to UConn on April 3 in Minneapolis.

It was a 12 months through which Staley was named the Naismith Nationwide Coach of the 12 months, and Gamecocks heart Aliyah Boston was honored because the Naismith Player of the Year.

Staley talked about how troublesome it’s to scale the NCAA match mountain and win a nationwide title.

“I know we made it look easy, but it really wasn’t easy,” Staley stated. “The sacrifice of all of our players, all season long was apparent to us, but probably not to you all. So I want to thank our players for their sacrifice.”

College of South Carolina girls’s basketball head coach Dawn Staley speaks to a crowd of supporters on Wednesday, April 13, 2022, in Columbia, S.C., as participant Aliyah Boston watches on. Tracy Glantz

‘We wouldn’t have a parade with out them’

The coach and the Gamecock gamers soaked within the adulation of the hundreds of followers who lined Important Avenue for the parade. Staley signed autographs for followers whereas she sat in a convertible because the procession crept towards the State Home.

A number of former USC girls’s hoopsters, together with Gamecocks nice Sheila Foster and a lot of others, have been available for Wednesday’s occasion.

Staley stated the help of previous USC gamers is essential for the present squad.

“We couldn’t do it without them,” Staley informed TV station WIS concerning the former group members simply earlier than the parade. “This is the legacy that they left for us to allow us to win national championships multiple times. We wouldn’t have a parade without them.”

Columbia Mayor Daniel Rickenmann was among the many visitor audio system on the USC parade.

The previous longtime metropolis councilman stated Staley’s squad introduced delight to the capital metropolis with their March Insanity mastery. He additionally introduced Staley a key to the town, as effectively proclamation declaring April “National Championship Month” in Columbia.

The mayor stated simply providing a proclamation honoring the group on a single day wasn’t sufficient.

“We talked about it and we said, ‘Why should we just declare one day as national championship day?’” Rickenmann informed the Wednesday night time crowd. “So we just decided to declare the whole damn month, y’all.”

Staley has now received two nationwide championships at USC, one in 2017, and one other this 12 months.

The coach was not shy about teasing the thought the Gamecocks can win all of it once more subsequent 12 months.

“Let’s run it back,” she stated Wednesday, to the roar of the gang.

This story was initially printed April 13, 2022 7:34 PM.

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Chris Trainor has been working for newspapers in South Carolina for greater than 17 years, together with earlier stops on the (Greenwood) Index-Journal and the (Columbia) Free Instances. He’s the winner of quite a few South Carolina Press Affiliation awards, together with honors in column writing, authorities beat reporting, profile writing, meals writing, election protection and extra.

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