Dawn Staley’s Bright Basketball Legacy Set to Shine in New Documentary


April 2, 2024

Dawn Staley, the University of South Carolina’s esteemed coach, is set to grace the silver screen!

Staley had a few quotable moments last night as South Carolina secured a 70-58 victory over Oregon State, placing them into the Final Four of the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament. Adding another reason to celebrate, fans and followers of her journey will be able to watch career highlights like these in a documentary set to release in the spring of 2025, The Athlete reports.

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With a narrative arc tracing the evolution of women’s basketball, the film sets out to immortalize Staley’s legacy as a former Olympian and Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer. Directed by Kristen Lappas and Sarah Springer, the documentary is a collaborative effort with Teton Ridge Entertainment, spearheaded by Thomas Tull and other esteemed investors. Tull, known for his visionary productions, including 42 starring the late Chadwick Boseman, recognizes the historical significance of documenting women’s basketball for future generations.

The project captures pivotal moments from Staley’s illustrious career, from her court performances to her groundbreaking leadership as a coach. Filming began during South Carolina’s season opener in Paris, capturing Staley’s commanding presence as she led her team against formidable opponents. Subsequent shoots documented key games and moments throughout the season, providing an intimate glimpse into Staley’s unparalleled dedication.

“Women’s basketball has not been historically documented for future generations,” Staley remarked. “However, following discussions with Thomas Tull and the Words+Pictures team, I became convinced that their narrative approach and objectives aligned ideally with the creation of a landmark historical piece on women’s basketball.”


Kristen Lappas, the acclaimed filmmaker behind “Dream On” and “Giannis: The Marvelous Journey,” emphasized Staley’s unparalleled influence on the sport. “Nobody’s career and personal life has followed the trajectory of the evolution of women’s basketball in the same way as Dawn’s has,” Lappas noted. “You can basically tell the story of women’s basketball via a focused lens through the career and life of Dawn Staley and how she impacted the game.”

The documentary promises to piece together interviews with key figures of the sport, including Hall of Famers Nancy Lieberman and Lisa Leslie, along with current stars such as Diana Taurasi and JuJu Watkins. Through their collective voices, the film will offer a reflection on Staley’s legacy and impact on women’s basketball.

Cover photo: Dawn Staley’s Bright Basketball Legacy Set to Shine in New Documentary / Credit: Lance King for Getty


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