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Dec. 20, 2017

COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina women’s basketball head coach Dawn Staley brought her 2017-18 Gamecocks to Philadelphia this week to play Temple on Thursday, but the hometown legend had a special stop scheduled for Wednesday. Staley presented the Hank Gathers Recreation Center, where she grew up playing basketball (when it was called the Moylan Recreational Center), with a replica NCAA National Championship trophy to display in the facility. The City of Philadelphia returned the gesture by naming the two blocks of Diamond Street from 25th to 23rd Streets in front of the building Dawn Staley Lane.

The case Staley donated to house the trophy has a plaque explaining the importance to Staley of displaying it at the Hank Gathers Center.

“To Moylan/Hank Gathers Recreational Center, Thank you for being the place where North Philadelphians can come to start making their dreams a reality. This place houses dedication, hope and love, and that is what a true Champion is made of! 25th and Diamond is where Dreams start! Love always, Dawn Staley”

After the presentation, City Councilman Sharif T. Street surprised Staley with the honor of the street naming. Staley, who grew up at 23rd and Diamond routinely traveled the stretch in her youth to get to the recreation center to hone the basketball skills that would carry her to three Olympic gold medals, five WNBA All-Star selections and a place in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

While Tuesday night and Wednesday in Philadelphia were a homecoming celebration for Staley, Thursday will bring the return to business for Staley and her Gamecocks. South Carolina tips off against Temple at Liacouras Center at 7 p.m., and the game will air on ESPN3.