South Carolina head coach Dawn Staley continued her advocacy for HBCUs during her team’s NCAA Tournament matchup against South Florida.
Staley sported a throwback Yolanda Laney jersey, a former women’s basketball player for Cheyney State.
Cheyney State, now known as Cheyney University, famously appeared in the first-ever NCAA Division I women’s basketball championship game in 1982, becoming the only HBCU to do so to date.
Staley after the game explained why she donned the Cheyney gear.
“One of my friends texted me and asked me if I wanted the jersey,” Staley told the press. “And I was like, ‘Of course.’ I like the jersey, I like what it stands for.
“For them to be led by Coach (Vivian) Stringer, who opened doors that now I walk through, it was truly an honor to wear this jersey and to represent them.
This is so cool. Dawn Staley is honoring Cheyney State on the sideline today.
Cheyney State played in the first NCAA women’s national championship game in 1982. The team was coached by the legendary C. Vivian Stringer. Only HBCU to appear in an NCAA Final Four or title game. pic.twitter.com/xXmW5p00V6
— Sean Hurd (@seanahurd) March 19, 2023
The legendary player-turned-coach has been an advocate for HBCUs.
Following the Gamecocks’ first-round win over Norfolk State, not only did Staley give credit to the team proclaiming “Norfolk State is not a 16-seed,” she strongly endorsed Spartans’ All-MEAC forward Kierra Wheeler.
She made a similar gesture after South Carolina beat Howard in the NCAA tournament the year before, speaking highly of Bison head coach Ty Grace.
In addition, she has been known to give opportunities to local-area Division II HBCU Benedict College hosting exhibition games against them in each of the past two seasons.
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