COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - "What's delayed is not denied."
That's what head coach Dawn Staley said to thousands of cheering Gamecock fans after the parade down Main Street Sunday as thousands of Gamecock fans celebrated the Women's NCAA Championship Win.
"Nine years ago, we probably averaged 500 fans," Staley told the crowd who gathered at the State House where the parade ended. "The book probably says 1,200, but literally, it was about 500 people watching us play. I didn't know what a National Championship program looked like, because I was really so concentrated on the product that we put on the floor. But what you have done, what you have done, what you have created in Colonial Life Arena, we can't write a book about it, because it was you."
The Gamecocks' first national championship is a win fans have been waiting for with years of hard work paying off for Staley and the team.
"I'm a true diehard Gamecock fan and I will continue to come to every game for as long as I can, go cocks, USC!" said one fan.
"We didn't want to miss it, yes I feel like they have done a lot for this school and they brought a lot of support so we wanted to give it back to them," another fan said.
Coach Staley, still wearing her "net-lace," shared what she felt the net truly represents. For Staley, it means more than just winning her first-ever national title.
"Figuratively I want to give you all a piece of this net -- figuratively," she said. "If you have any kind of belief or work ethic, any kind of hope, it represents that. That's what it took for us to win a national championship. It may not be a national championship. It may be to get to high school. It may be to go to college, get a promotion. It may be whatever it is your heart's desire. Take a piece of our net and reflect on what we were able to accomplish, because nobody besides the people here and in the state of South Carolina and city of Columbia believed we could be standing here right now."