February 6: Dawn Staley

Dawn Staley on Team USA. Getty Images

Photo: Getty Images

Dawn Staley is a Basketball Hall of Fame player and coach. Staley is a three-time Olympian and carried the United States flag at the opening ceremony of the 2004 Summer Olympics. Staley played point guard for University of Virginia under Debbie Ryan, where she led the team to four NCAA Women's Basketball Tournaments, three Final Fours, and one National Championship game. Staley finished her college career with 2,135 points; her number 24 is retired. After winning a gold medal at the 1996 Summer Olympics, she went to on to play professionally overseas and in the American Basketball League before joining the WNBA for seven seasons. Six of those seasons Staley was a WNBA All-Star. Staley was known for her aggressive defense and heart for attacking the rim, playing the same basketball as she did growing up in Philadelphia. In 2011, Staley was voted as one of the Top 15 Players in WNBA history. She was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2013. In 2014, Staley's team achieved the program's first #1 ranking, making her only the 2nd person to both play for and coach a #1 ranked team. She's currently the women's head basketball coach for University of South Carolina, a position she took in 2008, departing Temple University after eight seasons. In 2015, Staley was awarded the USA Basketball Co-National Coach of the Year Award. Her teams have gone on to the NCAA Final Four and SEC Champions. In 2017, she guided the Gamecocks to the team's first NCAA Women's Basketball Title.


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