COLUMBIA, S.C. (WSPA)—The University of South Carolina’s celebration of its women’s basketball national championship was postponed Monday because of the threat of severe weather. The event was originally scheduled for 4 p.m. Monday at the Colonial Life Arena but the university pushed back the start time to 8 p.m. Then it postponed it to another day, sending out a notice that read, “Due to the National Weather Service tornado watch and the possibility for severe weather this evening, the celebration honoring head coach Dawn Staley’s NCAA National Championship team has been postponed.”
The new date will be announced later this week. The City of Columbia has scheduled a parade for the team at 3 p.m. Sunday.
USC sophomore Summer Richardson had planned to go to the celebration. “I have been following the women’s team. It’s been great just watching them, seeing all the great things that they’ve accomplished,” she says. “We always backed our girls. We always knew they had it in them and this is a special year, so we’re happy for them.”
The USC women beat Mississippi State 67 to 55 Sunday night for the school’s first national championship in basketball. Gov. Henry McMaster ordered that the USC flag be raised over the Statehouse, just as Clemson’s was after it won the national championship in football and Coastal Carolina’s was for winning the college baseball title.
USC sophomore Jim McLean also plans to go to the celebration. “It’s just such a big deal for the university, a national championship in women’s basketball for the first time. Just, with the success of both basketball teams, it’s just a huge deal, a big event. Dawn Staley’s a fantastic coach. She’s really turned this program around from, you know, when she came they were winning barely 10 games to now they’re national champions, so I’m really excited.”
Freshman Natalie Herndon says, “We made history last night and it’s really exciting and I’m really proud of the girl’s team. I mean, they overcame so many things, like losing some of their players.” USC center Alaina Coates was not able to play in the NCAA tournament because of an ankle injury during the SEC tournament.