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April 03, 2017

Dawn Staley on winning national title: ‘I don’t cry, I’m from North Philly’

Although she took her talents down to South Carolina in 2008, former Temple women’s basketball coach and Philadelphia native Dawn Staley reps the city harder than pretty much anyone. North Philly, where she grew up, to be specific.

As Staley’s Gamecocks took down Mississippi State for the national championship on Sunday night, she added another major accomplishment to an already impressive résumé:

(On national TV, Staley credited Dave O'Brien, the athletic director at Temple who convinced her to get into coaching while she was still playing in the WNBA.)

•    Three Final Fours as a player at Virginia, two-time Naismith Award winner
•    Six-time WNBA All-Star
•    Four-time Atlantic 10 champion as a coach at Temple
•    Three-time SEC champion as a coach at South Carolina
•    Two Final Fours as a coach at South Carolina
•    2017 National Championship at South Carolina
•    Current head coach of the United States women's national basketball team
•    Inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame as a player in 2013

Not too shabby. If Staley continues on this path, she could very well join John Wooden, Bill Sharman, Lenny Wilkens, and Tommy Heinsohn as the only people to be inducted into the Hall of Fame as both a player and coach.

And as always, Staley continued to carve out some time to recognize Philadelphia, even after winning the title in South Carolina. Via SB Nation:

With 1:23 left in the fourth quarter, South Carolina led by 13 points, and that’s when Staley knew. She hugged her assistant coaches, and she began thinking about what this win meant. But she also kept the promise she gave to the ESPN broadcast earlier that day.

“I don’t cry,” she had said. “I’m from North Philly.”

And along the way, she received congratulations from a current Eagle and former president. Pretty, pretty good:

Follow Rich on Twitter: @rich_hofmann