Wednesday, December 1, 2021

South Carolina Women’s Basketball Team Declines White House Invite

Dawn Staley (in black) and the world champion South Carolina Gamecocks
Coach Dawn Staley (in black) and the world champion South Carolina Gamecocks

*Donald Trump is set to host collegiate sports championship teams at the crib today (Nov. 17), but the South Carolina women’s basketball team will not be among them.

Gamecocks coach Dawn Staley said Thursday that her team has declined an invitation to visit the White House and instead will focus on the season ahead.

“We did hear from the White House about attending tomorrow’s event, but we will not be able to attend,” Staley said in a statement. “As I’ve been saying since our practices for this season started, all of our focus is on the season ahead. The only invitation we are thinking about is to the 2018 NCAA Tournament.”

The White House said NCAA teams will attend a reception at the executive mansion, but it did not provide a list of the teams attending.

When South Carolina won the school’s first national championship in April, Staley said the team would go to the White House because “it’s what it stands for. It’s what national champions do.”

But in September, Staley told the Associated Press that the Gamecocks had yet to receive an invitation, “and that in itself speaks volumes.” Staley then added that she wasn’t sure if the Gamecocks would even accept the invite after “some things transpired over the last few months.”

Trump hosted the 2016 NCAA football champion Clemson Tigers at the White House in June. The University of North Carolina’s 2017 national championship men’s basketball team said earlier this year it could not agree on a date for a visit.

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