It feels great to officially be in basketball season again, and I’ll tell every University of South Carolina student what I told our team — we’re the only ones who get to start the season saying we have a chance to REPEAT as National Champions. The only NCAA Division I women’s basketball school in the COUNTRY that gets to say that … and it feels pretty good, right?
The other reason it feels great is because we’re back in Colonial Life Arena with our "FAMS." And, students, you’re a big part of that. The building’s energy is so much higher when you’re there cheering us on, making it hard on our opponents and pleading for a free Chick-fil-A sandwich — um, I mean opponent missed free throws — in the fourth quarter.
But, beyond the game, what’s special about being inside Colonial Life Arena is the way it brings our community together. I love looking into the stands and seeing all different types of people enjoying being together, sharing that game-day experience with each other.
It’s the same culture we’ve built within our team. We may not always agree with each other on every single topic, but we agree to be respectful in our differences and to come together to achieve a common goal ... you know, like lifting a trophy with confetti raining down around us. I know that decision to respect others is something that our players take beyond our team into the rest of their lives, and I hope that energy spreads to every person who comes into Colonial Life Arena to support us.
We are excited about another season ahead, especially for our four-year seniors, that signing class of 2019. They came to Columbia with a goal of winning multiple national championships, and they could become the first Gamecocks to do that. We have some work to do to get there, but that group’s determination to create its own part of our program’s legacy is incredible to watch.
So, I hope every Gamecock will come out to see the last season of an incredible class of young women and our entire team as we try to do what no one else in the country can do this season — become back-to-back National Champions … because when we do you, you are part of that too!