My Take: Celebrating the Gamecocks

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Published: Apr. 8, 2022 at 6:52 PM EDT|Updated: Apr. 8, 2022 at 11:40 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - They’ve done it again!! The USC Women’s Basketball team just took home their second National Championship. The team is not only the toast of South Carolina…they are the darlings of the National Media and have become role models for women and young girls across the country. This team was so dominant they made it look easy, but obviously they worked hard to achieve success, and what the Gamecocks have accomplished over the past decade has altered the landscape of women’s sports. They are not just National Champions, but trailblazers.

When head coach Dawn Staley came to Columbia to coach the Gamecocks in 2008, South Carolina’s women’s basketball was an afterthought not only to those that love the game but also to many USC Sports Fans. The team had not been to an NCAA tournament in five years and attendance was lagging. It took a few years for Staley to start building winning teams, but she immediately brought the passion and went out of her way to connect with the fans or as they are known now the FAMS. And the wins followed. The women’s team has not missed the NCAA tournament in more than a decade and have now won two National titles… in 2017 and now 2022. And let’s be honest, they most likely would have won in 2020 if the tournament had not been cancelled due to COVID.

Dawn Staley and the USC Women’s Basketball team are now a dynasty. They have overtaken programs like UConn and Tennessee, that used to rule the college game. But they’ve also changed the landscape of women’s sports in general. The team averaged more than 12-thousand fans at every home game and for the past seven years has led the nation in fan attendance. Their team’s players like consensus National Player of the Year Aliyah Boston and Destanni Henderson are real stars in South Carolina. And coach Dawn Staley is a National figure who not only coaches National Champions but leads the women’s Olympic team. Staley is also the first Black Coach, male or female to win two National Championships. Congratulations on an incredible year Gamecocks… you’re 2022 National Champions. Thank you for giving us all something to celebrate and being role models for young girls across the globe.

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