Champion Dawn Staley’s dog is a star at press conferences for Gamecocks
- Dawn Staley and her No. 1 Gamecocks have been the class in women’s college basketball this year.
- But Staley’s dog has been the star of the team off the field.
- Champ, a 4-year-old Havanese, stole the show at press conferences and practices in South Carolina.
Dawn Staley and her top-ranked South Carolina Gamecocks have been the class in women’s college basketball this season.
But it was the superstar trainer’s dog that stole the show on the pitch.
Staley’s 4-year-old Havanese, Champ, has become a mainstay in South Carolina’s prestigious program. The gray and white pooch has long been a fan favorite after making appearances at Gamecocks training and press conferences this season.
Here, he turns around in the middle of the gym to get a tummy massage from his national champion and gold medalist mom:
—Kendall Smith (@SmithKendall__) October 12, 2021
After training in mid-November, he was ready to play fetch with whoever took the bait:
—Mike Uva (@Mike_Uva) November 16, 2021
Champ traveled to the Bahamas to attend Battle 4 Atlantis live:
—ChampStaley (@ChampStaley) November 22, 2021
And he even made podium appearances at South Carolina’s postgame press conferences:
—Augusta Stone (@augustalstone) December 22, 2021
But the media caught him sleeping a few times:
—Mike Uva (@Mike_Uva) January 9, 2022
Sometimes he just needs a break from the spotlight:
—Matt Vereen (@MattVereen) January 3, 2022
But Champ got so much attention for his recent press conference appearances that Staley — the human, not the dog — decided to make it a challenge. In December, she encouraged other coaches to participate in the #petpresserchallenge to help “educate rescue animals who need to be placed in happy conditions [homes].”
—dawnstaley (@dawnstaley) December 23, 2021
It’s unclear if other top coaches have followed the trend. But for now, Gamecocks fans are happy with the Champ bonus content they’ve gotten this year — and South Carolina’s near-perfect season so far.