When the South Carolina Gamecocks women’s basketball team knew they would be playing Temple this year coming off their national championship season, it was to be quite the occasion for Gamecocks head coach Dawn Staley who grew up in North Philly.
Dawn Staley Day was celebrated at the Hank Gathers Recreation Center on West Diamond Street. When the bus carrying Staley and her Gamecocks players pulled up to the corner of 25th and Diamond, a celebration and ceremony ensued.
A highlight of the festivities – a portion of West Diamond Street from 23rd St. to 25th St. being renamed as “Dawn Staley Lane.”
Truly honored to be a Philadelphian & come back to a city that raised me, allowed me to start a profession at Temple that forged a family of incredible beings & to bring a community together that created a huge support system for the young & old.Thx to all for a memorable exp.
— dawnstaley (@dawnstaley) December 22, 2017
She brought a replica of the Gamecocks’ NCAA tournament championship trophy (the Real McCoy of which she called “brownie”) to the recreational center.
— dawnstaley (@dawnstaley) April 4, 2017
Per the Philadelphia Inquirer, Staley told her team that every one of them had to make a layup inside the rec center before they could board the bus again.
This is not the first time a street has been named after Staley. After the Gamecocks won last year’s national title, a portion of a street by the Colonial Life Arena in Columbia was renamed “Dawn Staley Way.”
Speaking of the native Philadelphian and Gamecocks coach, there is also that video that is making sports fans everywhere go, “Awwwwwww!”