She shoots, she scores!
Two Black women coaches are making history, leading their teams to the NCAA Women’s Final Four tournament for the first time, People reports.
South Carolina Gamecocks coach Dawn Staley and Arizona Wildcats head coach Adia Barnes have secured their teams’ spots to compete for the championship. This is Staley’s third time and Barnes’s first in the Final Four, but they’re both making history as the first Black women to lead teams to the Final Four. They follow in the footsteps of Pokey Chatman, who led LSU to the NCAA, C. Vivian Stringer, who took three teams, and Carolyn Peck, the first Black woman to win an NCAA championship.
We may be the first but we will not be the last! ❤️ https://t.co/TiU4lAfWmc
— ADIA BARNES COPPA ⬇️ ❤️ (@AdiaBarnes) April 2, 2021
Both Staley and Barnes are former WNBA players, also making them the first former players to lead teams to the top four spots as head coaches. Barnes said she didn’t initially realize her appearance would be historic, but is proud to share the moment with Staley.
Thank you @seanahurd for listening. For asking the “WHY” that’s missing from so many perspectives. Thank you for formulating my words in the way they were expressed in lifting up black coaches and opportunities without denigrating other ethnicities in our game. We can all win! https://t.co/28Vx7dd2RVadvertisement
— dawnstaley (@dawnstaley) April 2, 2021
“I think representation is extremely important. It’s incredible to be representing Black female coaches on the biggest stage. This is the biggest stage for women’s basketball, so it’s an honor. To be behind someone like Dawn Staley. Dawn Staley is incredible. She’s a proven winner who has done amazing things for women’s basketball. To even be in the conversation with someone that great, it’s an honor,” Barnes said.
Staley echoed her sentiments, saying, “[Im] super proud of Adia. There are so many Black coaches out there that don’t get opportunity because when [Athletic Directors] don’t see it, they don’t see it – and they’re going to see it on the biggest stage of a Friday night, that two Black women are representing two programs in the Final Four, something that has never been done before.”
Two Black head coaches, two Black women, in the #ncaaW Final Four.advertisement
For the first time ever.
Dawn Staley and Adia Barnes making history pic.twitter.com/T52xluyZDP
— Sean Hurd (@seanahurd) March 31, 2021advertisement
— Toyelle Wilson (@CoachTMWilson) March 31, 2021advertisement
“When administrators give African-American women an opportunity, these two women are demonstrating with a chance, they can get it done.”advertisement
— The Undefeated (@TheUndefeated) March 31, 2021
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) April 2, 2021
— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) March 31, 2021advertisement
We’re rooting for everybody, Black! Congratulations ladies!
Photo Courtesy of Arizona Wild Cats/SportsTalkSC