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Coach Staley on Her Birthday

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Staley-USA Bday.jpgWith messages of all sorts - texts, Tweets, email - pouring in from current and past players along with friends and fans to help her celebrate her "milestone" birthday, women's basketball head coach Dawn Staley sat down with Spurs Up Blog. Among a lot of laughing and her usual wit, here's what the Birthday Girl had to say.

Are you a person who loves celebrating your birthday, or do you just take it as another day?
Eh, another day.

Do you reflect at all on your birthday?
I actually don't. It really is another day. Part of the reason for that is probably that my older brother and I share a birthday. So, it's not like my own birthday. Growing up, being the youngest, you can't have anything but hand-me-downs, and then you share a birthday, too.

Wow, that's kind of tough, Coach. Still, you managed to make something of yourself.
It is [laughing]. I made it through, though. I did. I do actually treat myself to something for my birthday.

So, do you prefer treating yourself or letting other people treat you?
I like to treat myself. I don't too much like receiving, but I will treat myself, probably to something that I wouldn't normally buy.

Do you have any birthday traditions with your family or something that you've always done on your birthday?

Not really. As I've gotten older, more people make a big deal out of it other than my family. Like, people in the office make a big deal out of it. I don't.

I saw that you got a surprise in the staff's wardrobe when you got in this morning.
I did [laughing]. It was pretty good.

What was the first thing you did this morning that was specific to your birthday?
Usually I find my way to the track (to work out) for my birthday. That's not totally abnormal, but the last couple of birthdays I've made sure to work out on the track.

Is there something people have done for your birthday that is your favorite?
The players that played for me at Temple always seemed to make it special for me. When I was playing in Charlotte and coaching at Temple, they came down and surprised me with birthday cake and dinner. They've made it special.

It's probably hard for your teams to do something for your birthday since it tends to be at the end of the semester and during finals.
It is, but they always find a way to make my day special, so that's a good thing.

So, what is your cake choice?
I like strawberry shortcakes, and stuff like that. This weekend they got a strawberry pound cake, which was rather good. They actually got it from my elementary school teacher who owns a bakery now. I like red velvet cupcakes, too.

What are you doing today to celebrate?
We've got recruits and parents coming in tonight, so I'm going to do that. You can't let birthdays slow you down from doing things. But, there's a party they're planning for me Saturday. They just tell me that there's a party, because they know I don't like doing stuff like that. They had to tell me otherwise I would've found a reason not to go [laughing].

Also, last weekend, I went up to Philly. It was about 15-20 former players that got together Saturday night and cooked dinner and had cake, did the whole thing. They really made the weekend special. Friday night we got manicures and pedicures and went to Atlantic City that night, and Sunday we did brunch. That's the type of thing that really stands out.

Is this typical of you, not liking the attention, around more than birthdays, I mean?
Not at all. That's normal me. I like to be on the other end of it. I like to make people smile and surprise people.

What's your favorite thing you've done to help someone else celebrate their birthday?
I don't know. I'm usually just in on it. I'm not a great planner, but I can keep a secret. I like to know what's going on, but I don't necessarily want to be in charge.

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