Coach Staley to be Honored with a Statue in Columbia

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Coach Dawn Staley

Recognizing a Legacy of Empowerment and Excellence in Women’s Basketball”

Dawn Staley, the head coach of the University of South Carolina women’s basketball team, will be recognized with a statue in downtown Columbia. The city plans to erect the statue at the corner of Main and Gervais streets across from the S.C. State House, in partnership with international arts funding group Statues for Equality, which aims to balance gender and racial representation in public statues around the world.

The $140,000 project is expected to be completed within 12 months, with half of the funding coming from Statues for Equality and the other half committed by local business people.

Staley has been an ambassador for leveling the playing field for girls and women in sports, pushing for equal funding, attention, and respect as men’s sports. Over the course of her 14-year tenure as coach of the USC women’s basketball team, she has led them to two national championships and elevated their status to a perennial national contender. She holds the record for most wins by any coach in the history of USC basketball, both men’s and women’s, and has been named national coach of the year on three separate occasions.

Staley expressed her excitement about the honor in an email release, saying that “I come from humble beginnings, a place where there are no statues honoring people like me. So to have such an honor bestowed upon me, is incredibly special. I hope that a young girl or boy who is growing up the way I did sees this as a way forward and a path toward their own dreams.”

The statue of Coach Staley will join the ranks of another tribute to USC women’s basketball excellence in the capital city, as an 11-foot bronze statue of A’ja Wilson was unveiled in January 2021. A native of Columbia, Wilson played a key role in leading the Gamecocks to their first national championship in 2017 before going on to achieve further success as an Olympic gold medalist and WNBA champion and MVP with the Las Vegas Aces.

The recognition of Coach Staley with a statue is a significant milestone for women’s basketball and women’s sports. It highlights the importance of equal opportunities and recognition for women in athletics and serves as an inspiration for young girls and women everywhere. The statue of Coach Staley will serve as a constant reminder that with hard work, dedication, and the right attitude, anyone can achieve their dreams and make a difference in the world.

The MinorityEye is a news and information aggregator that curates the voices, thoughts and perspectives of minority writers, bloggers, authors, reporters, columnists, pundits, consultants and thought leaders as well as those who write about minorities and issues that impact people and communities of color.

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