Dawn Staley reflects on national championship, dealing with pressure the entire season
Dawn Staley captured her second national championship on Sunday night, and did it in a season in which South Carolina was the No. 1-ranked team in the AP Top 25 throughout the season.
So while Staley has been at the top of the sport for several years, this season appeared to be different because of the pressure.
“This journey of being a coach has been truly gratifying,” Staley said after the game. “I have to reflect on this part of it. Like it comes with a great deal of pressure, pressure because we were the No. 1 team in the country throughout the entire season, pressure to come into the NCAA Tournament and be the favorites, by most people not all. Certainly not who we went up against today. I think that changed the narrative a little bit because of the success that UConn has had in our tournament.”
Staley also brought a piece of the 2017 net with her throughout the NCAA Tournament, including on Sunday night.
“I just think just moving forward, like the net is going to represent something, something in our game, something that will advance our game. I’ve been thinking, some of our Black male coaches, they don’t get opportunity, and I’m also going to — I’m going to take it a step further, some of our Black journalists don’t get an opportunity to elevate,” she said. “So we’re going to try to cut this net up, give them a piece of it, and just hope that it will be something that they can utilize to advance in the area that their heart desires to in their field. I’ll do that. It’s going to be hard trying to figure all y’all out, so if y’all can just email me or find my number, text me, send me your address so I can make it happen.”