By Mary Anne Bryant

Philly Mayor Cherelle Parker presented the first One Philly Award to Dawn Staley, a Philly native and coach of the University of South Carolina women’s basketball team.

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“The idea is to give this award once a year on the Fourth of July to a Philadelphian who best demonstrates the qualities we seek in the Parker administration: civic-mindedness, trailblazing leadership, and a focus on serving the community,” Parker said, adding that Staley was worthy because of “her personification of Philly grit and resilience and Philly pride.”

Staley, 54, played basketball at Murrell Dobbins Vocational High School in North Philadelphia and the University of Virginia. She won four Atlantic 10 conference titles as head coach of Temple University’s team before departing for the University of South Carolina, where she has won three titles. Staley has also won three Olympic gold medals as a player and one as a coach.

She accepted the award at a “Celebration of Freedom” event outside Independence Hall on Thursday morning, and praised Parker’s energy and thanked her for the “state of the city.”

“I haven’t been to Philly in a long period of time. I come in and out. But I got the lay of the land,” Staley said. “I’m always going to be proud of Philly no matter what because that’s where I’m from.”

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