Giving Back To The Community
With a desire to return her good fortune to her community back home in Philadelphia, Staley created the Dawn Staley Foundation. The foundation offers under-privileged girls programs that develop leadership, teamwork, and social skills. The organization also fosters civic pride, mentoring, and self-confidence. Staley's work for the foundation has earned her the 1998 American Red Cross Spectrum Award for her contributions to her community and the 1999 WNBA Entrepreneurial Spirit Award. The year she started the foundation, a seven-story mural of Staley was painted on the side of a building in Philadelphia overlooking her neighborhood.
For US professional teams, Staley began playing in the 1996-97 season with the American Basketball League's Richmond Rage and helped the team to a 1997 runner-up finish. In 1998, she became a member of the USA World Championship Team, which won a gold medal, finishing with a perfect 9-0 record and earning the team USA Basketball Team of the Year.
The following year, Staley switched to the WNBA and joined the Charlotte Sting. That year the team placed second in the WNBA Eastern Conference and went to the finals. Staley ranked third in the league with 190 assists, and set a franchise record 13 assists vs. Washington. Also in 1999, she played in the USA Basketball Women's Winter European Tour Team, which compiled a 4-1 record, and went on to help capture the 1999 US Olympic Cup and USA Basketball International Invitational titles. Her continuing achievements earned her the 1999 WNBA Sportsmanship Award.
- Dawn Staley - Staley At The Olympics
- Dawn Staley - Up From The Projects, Onto The Basketball Court
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