South Carolina HC Dawn Staley turns into supporter for graduating Gamecocks on special day: “The day that brings the biggest smiles”

During a recent survey by The Athletic, South Carolina coach Dawn Staley was voted as the college basketball coach that most student-athletes wanted to play for.

She recently showed the special rapport she shares with players as she attended Gamecocks guard Kierra Fletcher’s graduation ceremony. Staley posted a picture from the ceremony on X with the caption:

“WINNING!! This is the day that brings the biggest smiles. Congrats to our very own @kierrafletch3 on her big day! @GamecockWBB,” Staley tweeted.

Fletcher once detailed in an interview with “The Observer” how she first met Dawn Staley while she was still a Georgia Tech player after being eliminated by South Carolina in the 2021 NCAA tournament Sweet 16.

“When I’m around someone or have the opportunity to meet someone that I look up to that much, I just really get extremely nervous,” Fletcher said. “I went up to Coach and I was like, ‘I just want to let you know I’m your biggest fan and like, I love you’ … I just thought it was really cool, and my coach took a picture of us and stuff.”

Fletcher was recruited by Dawn Staley from the transfer portal in 2022 and won the national championship unbeaten together this past season.

Dawn Staley details conditions to play for her

Alongside UConn Huskies coach Dan Hurley, South Carolina Gamecocks coach Dawn Staley has set the standard in college basketball the past few years with an incredible 109-3 record.

Part of it has been due to her elite recruitment and player relationships after having to build an unbeaten championship-winning team from scratch since losing the majority of her 2023 team.

During a recent interview with Teen Vogue, the popular Staley revealed the conditions that student-athletes have to fulfill to play for the South Carolina Gamecocks under her tutelage.

“You have to be talented, and then the next thing that we look at is your relationship with your parents. If it is respectful, then you could play for us. If it’s not, you’re probably going to have a hard time. That’s our prerequisite when it comes to scouting,” Staley said.

“Once we identify a talent and how good they are, boom, that’s the easy part. The hard part is the next step. ‘What are you like? What’s your relationship with your family? Are you respectful to your mom, to your dad? How do you treat them? How are you being treated?’ That’s important to us.”

With a team built to dominate for the foreseeable future, Dawn Staley could yet continue the tradition of excellence that she has established in South Carolina.

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