The 46-year-old Staley has never forgotten her roots.

“That’s me,” said Staley, who led South Carolina past Mississippi State, 67-55, in the title game.Read on:“I’m proud of being from Philadelphia. I’ll tell anyone at any time that’s where I’m from. Philly people are confident. Philly people are blue-collar workers. Philly people are passionate about their sports. They are passionate about their city. They are passionate about things that are their lifestyle.

“Philly has a way of rubbing itself on people and it sticks. When I was [the head coach] at Temple [University] and I used to recruit players, they initially turned their nose up at Philly. And then they found themselves in Philly 10 years after graduating from Temple. It’s amazing. The city has a certain pulse about it. It’s real. It’s authentic. It’s genuine. I’m not saying that it’s always positive, but you know what you’re getting, and that’s appealing. We don’t have layers to us. We are who we are.”

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