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Dawn Staley sends piece of Championship net to Black WBB coaches

Dawn Staley (Ben Solomon/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)

Dawn Staley continues to inspire other coaches.

The South Carolina women’s basketball coach, as promised, sent a piece of her 2017 NCAA Championship net to every Black woman head coach in the country.

Along with the net, Staley sent a card.

“I see all the time that I’m driven by being a dream merchant for my players, but after winning the national championship, I realized I could be one for every other black woman who wants to lead her team to that mountain top,” she wrote.

In the run up to South Carolina’s 2017 championship, Staley said Carolyn Peck — the only other African-American woman to coach a national champion — had given her a piece of the net from Purdue’s 1999 championship season.  Staley kept the piece of net in her wallet for years and returned it to Peck only after she won the title.

Staley says now that after she returned Peck’s piece of net, she struggled with picking another coach to keep the tradition alive.

“I don’t want to count black women as National Championship coaches by one every few decades,” she wrote. “I want us to do it so often we lose count!”

She then called Black women head coaches a “crucial piece of equipment” in the game.

“So, I pick ALL of you to receive this piece of our 2017 National Championship net in the hope that making our goal tangible will inspire you as it did me, to keep pushing forward and us all to keep supporting each other in our journeys.”

Arizona’s Adia Barnes was one of the coaches to receive a piece of the next, thanking Staley on Twitter “for inspiring me!”

Staley recently signed a seven-year, $22.4 million contract extension with South Carolina in October.