Recap: What was said during South Carolina's championship celebration at Colonial Life Arena

UVA BIO PICby:Mike Uva04/08/24


South Carolina women's basketball National Championship celebration at Colonial Life Arena

Following winning their third national championship in program history, South Carolina returned to Columbia on Monday and were greeted by thousands of fans at Colonial Life Arena.

The team entered the floor from the “home team’s” tunnel at 2:30 p.m. From there, the players, coaches, and other members of the program walked up onto a stage that was near where half-court would typically be. The on-stage ceremony only lasted for about 12 minutes before Dawn Staley and her team walked around the stadium from floor level to show off the the Gamecocks third national championship trophy in program history while also high-fiving fans.

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Below are some of the comments that were said:

– Director of Athletics Ray Tanner and the voice of Gamecocks women’s basketball Brad Muller took the stage first to introduce the team.

– Tanner began by saying there would’ve been another national championship if it hadn’t been for the 2019-20 tournament being cancelled. Mentioned how much he loved the support this fanbase has shown and smiled when talking about USC students jumping into the fountain in front of the Thomas Cooper library yesterday following the win.

– Tanner’s remarks were brief but when he listed off the accomplishes Staley has achieved when introducing her, CLA erupted in cheers.

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– Staley thanked the fans for all their support and credited them with helping them win games at home. Added that even with the men’s team this season, there weren’t a lot of losses at CLA for either team and that the fans certainly played a role in that

– When sharing some thoughts on this year’s team, Staley admitted that it was unlike anything she’s ever dealt with before in her coaching career. But everyone held each other accountable and made to sure to lift others up around them, especially going back to the start of the season.

– This year’s team vowed to get the job done after coming up short last year for last year’s team. Joked that they were so fired up before the game that Staley and the assistant coaches didn’t know if they were gonna win by a lot or lose by a lot.

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– Staley recognized the “Highlighters,” which is the name given to the practice squad members of USC women’s basketball. The team, which is made up of men, are constantly practicing with the team throughout the entire season. Staley joked that they were the only team who were able to beat them this year. Without them they wouldn’t be here with the way they push their players to get better.

– Following Staley addressing the crowd, Raven Johnson was asked to say some words. She was the only Gamecock student-athlete to do so but said, “Now it’s time for the repeat tour.”

**A video of the event will be added to this story as soon as it’s provided by South Carolina athletics.

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