SC women's basketball champions decline White House invite

Dawn Staley

Dawn Staley

SC won the 2017 Women's NCAA Tournament, but isn't going to the White House. The NHL champion Pittsburgh Penguins announced this week they would visit the White House. The White House is holding Collegiate National Champions Day on Friday.

The Huskies were one of 18 NCAA national champions visiting the White House on Friday. It's customary for the president to host title-winning NCAA teams.

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SC head women's basketball coach Dawn Staley made her first remarks Friday after releasing a statement saying her team was skipping a White House invitation to focus on the season.

According to ESPN, the team, which won its first NCAA championship in April, was recently invited to attend a reception at the White House along with other college teams who won titles this year. The former three-time Olympic gold medalist and flag bearer at the 2004 Games told the Associated Press, "It's what national champions do. I don't know what else has to happen". A team spokesman said the Tar Heels were willing to go, but the university and White House tried "eight or nine" dates and none worked. "I got bigger fish to fry than worry about an invitation". The Gamecocks defeated Clemson on Thursday night and have a practice scheduled for Friday in preparation for facing Wofford on Sunday.

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Staley made no mention of politics nor hurt feelings in her statement.

The women's basketball champions from SC did not appear, either. She simply said thanks but no thanks.

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