Dawn Staley, head coach of the Women's Basketball team at the University of South Carolina, will receive the Billie Jean King Leadership Award at the Women's Sports Foundation's Annual Salute to Women in Sports, reports the Associated Press.
Named after ground-breaking tennis star Billie Jean King, the prize honors those "who champion equal rights, opportunity and access in sports, regardless of race, gender or any other factor."
The event also marks the 50th Anniversary of Title IX, which prohibits sex-based discrimination in any school or other education program that receives funding from the federal government.
In her 15th season as coach, Staley has built one of the most renowned collegiate programs in the country. Last season, she led the Gamecocks to the 2022 national championship, her second title since she began her coaching tenure. Under her leadership, the program produced several SEC Players of the Year, National Players of the Year, a WNBA No. 1 Draft pick, and multiple No. 1 recruiting classes.
At the 2020 Summer Olympics, Staley won her first Gold medal as Team USA's Head coach and coached Team USA to gold medals in the 2018 World Cup in Spain and two gold medals in the 2019 and 2021 FIBA AmeriCup.
In a recent interview, Staley was committed to equality on and off the court and spoke about the importance of securing NIL deals for her players.
"We've been having some pretty good success partnering with people who feel all-team deals are a great thing. We just signed a deal giving all our players a minimum of $25,000," she said. "We partnered with a company called Rewind that has given our players equity in ownership. It's a startup company (concerned with) diabetes because diabetes is very prevalent in South Carolina. Our players will bring awareness to Type 2 diabetes, so there will be generational health in people of our community."
In addition to the Billie Jean King Award, Staley was named the recipient of the John R. Wooden "Legends of Coaching" honor this year.
The event will take place on Wednesday, October 12, 2022, at 6:00 PM at Pier Sixty in New York.