Women’s Basketball National Championship-Winning Coach Dawn Staley Celebrates at Walt Disney World

After proclaiming “I’m Headed to Disney World’’ immediately following the South Carolina women’s basketball national championship win earlier this month, Gamecocks head coach Dawn Staley arrived Saturday at The Most Magical Place on Earth where she had a festive time experiencing signature Disney attractions and taking part in a celebratory parade at Magic Kingdom.

  • Staley started the day off with a ride on Kilimanjaro Safaris at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and by midday she was at Magic Kingdom riding atop a parade float with her fellow South Carolina basketball assistant coaches, the center of attention during a celebratory afternoon cavalcade down Main Street, U.S.A.

  • There were streamers, fireworks, Disney characters and cheering guests. She even got to spend some time interacting with Minnie Mouse, who showed up dressed in her own basketball uniform.

  • Staley, a six-time WNBA All-Star as a player, coached the South Carolina team to its third women’s basketball national title on April 6, a fairytale ending to its undefeated season, which pushed Staley’s record to 109-3 over the last three years. She is one of only a handful of coaches in women’s college basketball history with three national crowns.
  • After the Gamecocks won the title earlier this month, Staley announced during a live post-game interview on national TV that she was “Going to Disney World!’’

  • That proclamation continues Disney Parks’ popular tradition of celebrating major national champions at Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort – a tradition that started with the New York Giants following their Super Bowl win in 1987.
  • Staley joins the biggest names in the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL and the Olympics who have celebrated their greatest sports achievements at a Disney park.
Mike Mack
Mack is the Editorial Director for Marvel and ESPN content and he has covered comic cons, theme park events, video game showcases and other fun events. He is a fan of theme parks, sports, movies, Marvel Comics and is a self-proclaimed "nerd."