Columbia’s Main Street Fills Up For A Parade To Celebrate The National Champion Gamecocks. 

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South Carolina freshman Bree Hall walked up to the microphone before thousands of devout Gamecock fans. She and the national champion women’s basketball team had just cruised down Columbia’s Main Street, snapping photos and waving to a raucous crowd gathered for a parade.

Hall led the Gamecocks in a triumphant rendition of Alicia Keys’ “Girl on Fire” before the Wednesday evening celebration continued on the steps of the S.C. State House.

The moment represented South Carolina’s dominant 2021-22 national championship season well — the Gamecocks were on fire all year. The parade to celebrate head coach Dawn Staley and the USC women’s basketball program featured more than 60 cars, trucks, and floats. It included current and former players, local businesses, and university and community leaders.

Festivities at the State House included speeches from Staley, Columbia Mayor Daniel Rickenmann, Congressman Jim Clyburn, USC President Harris Pastides, and athletics director Ray Tanner. 

“Not only did you win the national title, but you also won the hearts of the entire country,” Clyburn said. Rickenmann presented Staley with a key to the city and said he would proclaim all of April “national championship month.”

Tanner, in his remarks, called the USC women’s coach the “greatest of all time.” All Gamecocks were on hand for the parade except star point guard Destanni Henderson, the leading scorer from the Gamecocks’ championship game win over UConn.

Henderson, unable to make the parade due to commitments with the WNBA’s Indiana Fever, received a loud cheer during the team introduction.

Staley presented unique gifts from the Gamecocks’ devoted “FAMs” to veteran starters Victoria Saxton and Brea Beal, celebrating their accomplishments as players who “often don’t get recognized.”

In addition, the consensus national player of the year, Aliyah Boston, briefly took the microphone to thank the crowd. Thousands of fans gathered for the festivities.

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