Staley and 1996 Team Nominated for U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame
March 6, 2012
COLUMBIA, S.C. - South Carolina women's basketball head coach Dawn Staley along with the 1996 U.S. Olympic Women's Basketball Team, which included both Staley and South Carolina assistant coach Nikki McCray, are among the 28 nominee finalists for induction into the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame presented by Allstate. Public voting for the 2012 Hall of Fame class is also taking place at www.TeamUSA.org/halloffame. Fans are allowed to vote once per day, per category, through April 9, 2012.
"My Olympic experiences were by far the best experiences of my life," Staley said. "I'm elated to be on the ballot with (two-time gold medalist, 2004 assistant coach and 2008 head coach) Anne [Donovan] and the 1996 team and to be spoken of as one who could be considered part of history. It is a tremendous honor."
Both Staley and McCray were selected for induction into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in the Class of 2012, and Staley was also part of the Class of 2011 for the Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame. Staley was named to the WNBA's Top 15 in 2011 and was inducted into the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame in 2008.
Staley is a three-time Olympic gold medalist (1996, 2000, 2004) while also helping the 2008 team to a gold medal as an assistant coach. She was selected by her fellow Olympians from all sports to carry the U.S. flag in the 2004 Opening Ceremonies. In her U.S. Olympic women's basketball team career, during which she led her three teams to a perfect 24-0 record, Staley is second in career assists, third in games played, seventh in free throw percentage and eighth in steals.
McCray helped the U.S. to Olympic gold medals in 1996 and 2000. As part of the first and only resident national team program in USA Basketball history, the 1996 team amassed a 52-0 record during a 10-month training period and added an 8-0 slate en route to the Olympic gold medal in Atlanta, Ga. The team's popularity, which saw it draw an average of 25,320 fans during the Olympics, is credited for helping launch two women's professional basketball leagues in America.
For the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame, the public vote totals will be added to the vote totals of Olympians, Paralympians and U.S. Olympic Family members to determine the six Olympians, one Paralympian and one team that will make up the 2012 class. The U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame presented by Allstate Class of 2012 will be announced in May and inducted on July 12 during an induction ceremony at the Harris Theater in Chicago, Ill. The nominees for the 2012 U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame presented by Allstate class were selected by a nominating committee comprised of individuals representing the following areas of the Olympic movement: U.S. Olympians Association, Athletes' Advisory Council, media members, USOC executive team, USOC Board of Directors, one at-large committee member and a Paralympic sports representative.