PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The University of South Carolina’s women’s basketball team won the NCAA National Championship — and a Philadelphia hoops legend played a major part in that championship.
As senior at Dobbins High School in Philadelphia, Dawn Staley was named the National Girls High School Basketball Player of the Year.
As a college player at the University of Virginia, Staley led her team to four Final Four appearances, including one title game. She won multiple gold medals at the olympics, and as pro she was a six-time WNBA All-Star. And on Sunday night she won an NCAA National Championship as the head coach of the Lady Gamecocks.
“It is just amazing,” said Carolyn Monson, one of Staley’s teachers at Dobbins. “You think that it can’t get better than this, and each time, it just gets better and better.”
Monson says she was thrilled to see Staley win the big game.
“Dawn was always a very serious student,” she said. “She was a scholar first and an athlete, but she excelled in all areas.”
Monson says Staley is a great ambassador for their school.
“The young girls that are gracing these halls now have such a wonderful role model to follow,” she said. “Knowing they can have dreams and that their dreams can be fulfilled when they put in hard work and put the time and effort in.”
Charles Reyes is also a Dobbins alum and works at the school as a community coordinator. He says he’s been following Staley throughout her career, and even though he’s impressed with her accomplishments, he sees bigger things in her future.
“I would love to see Dawn as the first ladies coach in the NBA,” Reyes said. “Her talents, her knowledge of the game are just extraordinary.”