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Published: Sun, March 12, 2017
Sport | By Billy Aguilar

Dawn Staley to be named USA Women's Basketball Head Coach

Dawn Staley to be named USA Women's Basketball Head Coach

"It is basketball utopia for me", Staley said Friday after being introduced as coach of the US women's national basketball team. "I think the players have made sacrifices and commitments to United States of America basketball, so whatever was said before is going to be the same thing that's going to be said moving forward", Staley, 46, told a conference call. "If I'm ever honored in that way, it wouldn't take me long to decide".

The U.S. women's Olympic basketball team turned to its past to find its next coach.

USA Basketball officials have called for a 12:30pm press conference on Friday afternoon in The Zone at Williams-Brice Stadium where they'll announce the next head coach for the USA Women's Basketball team. "Maybe it'll be her wardrobe, but every time they're playing in the lead up to the Olympics and in the Olympics we hope of course, somebody is going to say, 'Dawn Staley, coach of the University of South Carolina Gamecocks.' And by the way, I hope they say that they won the national championship in 2017".

Staley acknowledged she now feels more pressure to keep the team's remarkable run of success going.

When asked about the current dilemma facing the women's team (Tamika Catchings retired after the 2016 WNBA season, and some players haven't committed yet), Staley didn't show much concern, stating that this is a process.

"She helped develop me", Bird said. "When you can capture those moments, that's when I knew I wanted to stay in the fold".

At South Carolina, Staley has led the Gamecocks to four straight Southeastern Conference titles and three straight SEC Tournament crowns. She was scouting the quarterfinals with the rest of the Gamecock coaching staff when she got the call.

"It's a surreal moment, but one I like to reflect on my career", Staley said. "Thank God for assistant coaches".

Staley's transition to coaching began in 2006.

The members of Staley's current SC team attended Friday's announcement wearing black T-shirts that read "2020 Vision".

"I'm happy for her, she paid her dues been on two different Olympic teams as an assistant", said Sue Bird. I was with her in Springfield, Mass., when she was inducted as a player (into the basketball Hall of Fame).

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