Dawn Staley reflects on NBA interview, return to South Carolina: 'I’m supposed to be where I am'
South Carolina women’s basketball coach Dawn Staley had the rare chance to interview for an NBA head coaching position when she recently interviewed with the Portland Trail Blazers.
Portland went in another direction, and Staley is perfectly happy at South Carolina.
“I’ve always let God (lead) me to where I need to go,” she said in an interview with The Post and Courier. “I do believe in God’s favor, and I think it’s upon me. I do not want for anything. I’m supposed to be where I am, and it’s the University of South Carolina.”
After all, South Carolina is in good hands with Staley, who has led the program to a national championship, six SEC tournament championships, three appearances in the Final Four, and eight appearances in the Sweet Sixteen.
The Portland interview was just her third ever.
“It presented a challenge,” she said. “I’m drawn to challenges. I’ve never looked at coaching an NBA team as a challenge until I went through the process of the interview.”
Staley described the interview, but it wasn’t as much as a stereotypical format of a woman interviewing in the NBA. The people in the Blazers’ organization weren’t concerned abut a woman leading men in that setting.
“There were lots of questions about dealing with people, dealing with the guys — how would you deal with a superstar,” she recalled. “I thought it was well done,” she said of the interview process. “I didn’t feel like they were checking the box.”
She left feeling good.
“I told them I didn’t have any interest (in the NBA), until now.”