USA BASKETBALL – In recognition of her leadership of the gold medal winning 2018 USA Basketball Women’s World Cup and 2018 USA Basketball Women’s National teams, Dawn Staley (South Carolina) today was announced as the 2018 USA Basketball National Coach of the Year.
Staley not only led the USA to a 6-0 record at the 2018 FIBA World Cup held Sept. 22-30 in Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain, she also became the first person in women’s FIBA World Cup history to win a gold medal as a player, assistant coach and head coach.
The finish also qualified the U.S. women for the 2020 Olympic Games.
“For me, this award is a recognition of the people who helped me get my name on the trophy, the staff that was dedicated to winning the gold medal,” Staley said. “That’s my main focus. Not the awards and such, but my main focus is when we suit up for USA Basketball with gold on the line, we win gold or it’s a failure.”
This is the second such honor for Staley, who shared the award with Sean Miller in 2015. Staley is the only person in USA Basketball history to have earned both the USA Basketball Athlete of the Year (1994 and 2004) and National Coach of the Year awards.
Since 1996, USA Basketball has awarded its National Coach of the Year honor to a USA Basketball head coach, who during the year of the award, made a significant impact on the success of individual athlete and team performance at the highest levels of competition in a manner consistent with the highest ethical, professional and moral standards.
“Dawn is especially deserving of this award, and we are grateful for all that she has done for USA Basketball in 2018 and throughout her career,” said USA Basketball CEOJim Tooley. “Dawn’s coaching and leadership at the FIBA World Cup were outstanding. Not having her full, 12-member team until just days before the USA’s first World Cup game, she quickly brought together a group that won and was impressive while doing so.”
The USA won its six World Cup contests by an average of 20.3 points per game and beat previously undefeated Australia 73-56 in the gold medal game.
The USA’s well-rounded effort featured five athletes who averaged double-digit scoring, including tournament MVP Breanna Stewart, who was joined on the all-tournament team by Diana Taurasi.
“What makes Dawn such a great coach is the fact that she’s been in our shoes before,” said USA forward Elena Delle Donne. “She knows never to get too caught up in the highs and lows of a game and is always steady in her approach. She is also open to collaboration and listens to her players and staff. It was a pleasure playing for Dawn.”
Among the 16-team tournament, the USA produced the top two games for points, scoring 102 points against Latvia and 100 points against China, which was a game that also saw the U.S. shoot a tournament-best 57.6 percent from the field. Further, the USA led the field for scoring (87.7 ppg.), scoring margin (20.3), field goal percentage (.464) and 3-point field goal percentage (.359); and was second for free throw percentage (.822), rebounding margin, blocked shots (4.17 bpg.) and assists (23.7 apg.).
Prior to the World Cup, Staley led the USA Basketball Women’s National Team, which featured a total of 35 athletes who took part in at least one of three 2018 training camps, to a 6-0 exhibition slate against Canada (two games), China, Japan, France and Senegal, as well as a Red-White intrasquad contest.
As women’s basketball head coach at the University of South Carolina, Staley led the Gamecocks in 2017-18 to a 29-7 record, a Southeastern Conference Tournament championship and the NCAA Tournament Elite Eight.
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