Dawn Staley thanks Gov. Nikki Haley for work to remove Confedera - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Dawn Staley thanks Gov. Nikki Haley for work to remove Confederate flag

(Source: WIS) (Source: WIS)
COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) -

While she said she didn't want to get political, University of South Carolina head women's basketball coach Dawn Staley credited a portion of her team's national championship to what happened after the tragic shooting at the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston. 

For over a decade, the NCAA boycotted most tournament games in South Carolina because of the Confederate flag. 

After the massacre at the Charleston church that killed nine African-American parishioners, lawmakers and Gov. Nikki Haley worked to get the flag removed from the State House grounds. 

Following the flag's removal, NCAA tournament basketball finally arrived in South Carolina. 

The national champion coach tipped her hat to the former governor and now UN Ambassador.

"I don't want to get political, but I have to mention this. Two years ago, our first trip to the Final Four was made possible to play post-season a game or two right here in the state of South Carolina because of a tragedy that happened and the power of Gov. Nikki Haley to take the Confederate flag down to allow us to play," Staley said.

South Carolina was able to host the first two rounds of the men's tournament this past season.

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