USC women’s basketball team celebrates 2022 National Championship win with downtown Columbia

COLUMBIA, SC (WOLO) — The University of South Carolina Women’s Basketball team are NCAA national champions and celebrated with fans in Columbia this evening.

Dawn Staley and the team rode down Main Street during a parade on their way to the statehouse.

“Not only did you win a national title, you won the hearts of the entire country,” said Congressman Jim Clyburn, addressing the team.

Last Sunday, the 35 and 2 Gamecocks capped off a fantastic season with a national title win over UConn 64 to 49.

“We all believed that we would be here. We had the confidence and expectation but it still takes the team,” said USC athletic director Ray Tanner. “The team is together everyone accomplishes more. That includes the fans. We appreciate you very much. You make it almost impossible to lose at Colonial Life Arena. Thank you so much.”

The team took home 16 wins at Colonial Life Arena and remained undefeated at home all year.

Gamecocks fans shared great memories of the season.

“I went to like five games this season,” said USC student Drew Brown. “The best one was probably the Ole Miss game.”

“I went to every single game. I was there in the student section cheering them on,” said Sydney Raess, USC student. “Me and my friends always go. We’re big Carolina basketball fans.”

Dawn Staley’s team was so dominant in Columbia and also took care of business in the Final Four in Minneapolis to cut down the nets as champions.

“I was in downtown Columbia and watched it at Village Idiot Pizza. We ran from Village Idiot all the way to the Thomas Cooper fountain,” said USC student Morgan Garrett. “We had a party there. It was the greatest feeling.”

It was a great feeling all around downtown Columbia Wednesday afternoon once the parade began.

“To ride down Main Street and interact with our fans and hear you screaming from the bottom of your heart how much you love us, it really resonates with me,” said Coach Dawn Staley.

“I just loved seeing the players honestly,” Brown said. “They had a ton of energy. It was just cool to see them.”

At the statehouse, Columbia Mayor Daniel Rickenmann presented Coach Staley with a key to the city and led the fans in celebrating.

“Mayor, how about we keep this route because we’re going to need it again next year,” said Harris Pastides, USC interim president.

“Let’s run it back,” Staley concluded.

At the statehouse, Congressman Clyburn also told Dawn Staley and her team that they are invited to the White House in a couple of weeks.

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