Dawn Michelle Staley, who was born in Philadelphia in 1970, has been a basketball player ever since she was a little girl.
Staley has always been a leader on and off the court, from her days as a guard at Dobbins Tech High School to her current position as a scholarship player for the University of Virginia.
After leading the United States to three consecutive Olympic gold medals as a member of the WNBA’s Charlotte Sting and Houston Comets, she retired from the sport.
She played for eight years and coached the Temple Owls, where she was a winner of numerous honors. Now, she serves as the head coach for the South Carolina Gamecocks and president of the Dawn Staley Foundation.
On May 4, 1970, Dawn Staley entered this world. She was raised in the North Philadelphia projects around the intersection of Diamond Avenue and 25th Street.
Tracey, Lawrence, Anthony, and Eric are Staley’s brothers and sisters. Estelle and Clarence hoped for nothing but the best for their children and knew that a quality education would be essential to provide them a future outside the housing projects.
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Dawn Spent Most Of Her Childhood On The Basketball Court.
She joined in games with the boys and earned their respect once they saw her abilities. She gained confidence in her ability to compete with women’s teams since she hung out with guys who were physically superior to her.
She attended Dobbins Tech High School in 1986, and she says that all of her life’s experiences prepared her well for that year.
Dawn Was A Starting Basketball Player By her Sophomore Year.
She was selected USA Today’s National High School Player of the Year as a senior after leading her team to three consecutive public league titles.
She had the kind of skill and passing ability that made her a desirable prospect as a starting guard at the collegiate level. Staley was given a number of scholarships, but she ultimately decided to join the University of Virginia’s Cavaliers (UVA).
Dawn Staley Was A Standout Guard With The Cavaliers From 1989 Until 1992.
During the course of four years, she guided her team to a 110-21 record and four appearances in the NCAA tournament. A total of three of those trips led to the national championship game.
Throughout the course of her four years at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Staley won numerous prestigious honors, including the following: 1989 ACC Rookie of the Year, 1991 Sports Illustrated Player of the Year, 1991 and 1992 ACC Player of the Year, and 1992 National Player of the Year.
She has won three All-American awards and has 454 career steals, both of which are NCAA records.
Staley finished her collegiate career with 2,135 points and 729 helpers. Her assistant coach Shawn Campbell was quoted in the Sports Illustrated article “A Flaming Dawn” as saying, “The truth is she is at a different level. The things she can do, we can’t coach.”
Her number 24 has been retired by the Cavaliers, making her one of just three players to achieve that honor. She received her bachelor’s degree in rhetoric and communications in 1992.
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Staley Decided To Qursue A Career In Professional Basketball After Finishing College.
She was an international player from 1992 to 1995, appearing for clubs in Brazil, France, Italy, and Spain.
When the 1994 World Championships were held in the United States, she came back to represent the United States.
In addition, she received recognition as the USA Basketball Female Athlete of the Year in the same year. Staley was a member of the 1996 United States Olympic Basketball Team.
Head coach Tara VanDerveer recognized Staley’s abilities, but the two often had philosophical differences. Staley explained to Rachel Rutledge, “I’ve lost some playing time in the past for things I’ve done on the court. Sometimes they’re good, sometimes they’re bad. They’re just instinctive.
” To Staley, “That’s All Part Of The Game,”
And “I’Ve Got To Do Some Of These Things To Help Women’s Basketball Grow.”
Dawn Staley competed in the American Basketball League after her first Olympic Games (ABL). She spent 1996 and 1997 with the Virginia team Richmond Rage.
Staley was thrilled to be playing in her hometown of Philadelphia the next season after the team relocated there.
Staley finished her ABL career with career averages of 14.0 ppg, 7.2 apg, and 3.5 rpg. Before the ABL disbanded in 1998, she had already been named to the All-Star team twice.
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Staley Was Drafted Ninth Overall By The Charlotte Sting Of The Women’s
National Basketball Association In 1999.
Her time with the Sting spanned from 1999 till 2005. She led her club to the WNBA Finals in 2001 and was an All-Star three times during the season.
Being a member of the first Women’s Dream Team, which included numerous professional basketball players, Dawn Staley was able to play for the Sting in the summer of 2000 while still training for her second Olympics with Team USA.
The team continued on to overcome Australia for another Olympic gold medal.