8 things to know about Dawn Staley

South Carolina coach Dawn Staley cuts down the net as she and the team celebrate their 67-55 win over Mississippi State in the championship game of the NCAA women's college basketball tournament in Dallas.

Philadelphia's own Dawn Staley led the University of South Carolina Gamecocks to victory over Mississippi State, 67–55, to win the NCAA women's basketball tournament on Sunday afternoon.

Her successful hoops career has spanned decades. Here are eight things to know about her:

1. Staley grew up in a neighborhood near 25th and Diamond Streets in North Philadelphia and became the national high school player of the year while at Murrell Dobbins Tech High School

2. She was a three-time all-American at the University of Virginia, and made three trips to the Final Four. She ended her college career with 2,135 points, 729 assists and holds the NCAA record for career steals with 454. Her number, 24, has been retired.

3. Staley, who is 5-foot-6, has won three Olympic gold medals. Prior to the 1996 Atlanta games, Staley ran up the steps at the Philadelphia Museum of Art for the Olympic Torch Relay. She gave her first gold medal to her mother, Estelle.

4. During the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, Australia, Staley hit a perfect 12-of-12 free throws to tie for first for U.S. single-competition free-throw percentage.  In Athens in 2004, Staley was unanimously chosen to carry the U.S. flag during the opening ceremony. 

5. Staley was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2013.

6. Earlier this month, Staley was picked by USA Basketball to coach the women's national team through 2020. She will replace renowned University of Connecticut coach Geno Auriemma, who grew up in Norristown and once was an assistant coach at St. Joseph's University.

7. Staley had given no thought to coaching. It was Temple athletic director Dave O'Brien who reached out to her in 2000 through a mutual friend and was able to entice her to become coach at Temple.

8. Her tweets about her Christmas tree, which she has kept up well past the holiday season, have inspired a separate Twitter account, @DawnsXmasTree