COLUMBIA, SC – Thousands of fans filled the streets of downtown to celebrate South Carolina’s second women’s basketball national championship.
The Gamecocks won the title with a 64-49 win over UConn in Minneapolis on April 3.
Gamecocks coach Dawn Staley, her players and staff traveled in cars, floats and trucks to South Carolina’s Statehouse, where they were honored by officials. There are more than 60 vehicles in the parade.
Staley thanks her “FAMS,” who have helped the show once again lead the country with 12,268 fans per home game.
Staley sat in a white Rolls Royce convertible, autographed t-shirt, and posed for selfies with people queuing along the route.
“How much you love us, really resonates with me,” she said from the podium.
Mayor Daniel J. Rickenmann and the city council declared April to be “South Carolina National Championships” month.
Congressman Jim Clyburn (D-South Carolina) told the group they would be honored at the White House in a few weeks.
“You will be received by the president of the United States,” Clyburn said.
When the Gamecocks won the NCAA tournament in 2017, the White House invitation didn’t come until a few months later, after South Carolina began fall practice. Staley declined the invitation, saying that she is fully focused on the upcoming season.
Interim university president Harris Pastides called this “the dawn of a new dynasty.”
He told the crowd to be proud of Staley, who “has done more for gender equity and equality in women’s athletics than anyone in modern history.”
Staley ended by saying, “Let’s run again” with another title next season as fans cheered.
https://www.espn.com/womens-college-basketball/story/_/id/33733922/south-carolina-gamecocks-honored-parade-state-officials-winning-women-basketball-national-title South Carolina Gamecocks honored to be paraded by state officials after winning women’s basketball national championship