South Carolina womens basketball coach Dawn Staley and former USC mens basketball player Dennis Powell are among the five who will be honored by the South Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame at its 54th annual banquet and induction ceremony on May 12 at the Columbia Metro Convention Center.
Clemsons Billy DAndrea, Mike Veeck of Charleston and Rick Henry of Columbia also will be honored for their various contributions to sports in the Palmetto State.
Staley will be honored with a Special Achievement Award. Powell will receive the third annual Dom Fusci Leadership in Action Award. DAndrea will be recognized with the Bobby Richardson Sportsmanship Award; Veeck will be honored with the Willie Jeffries Ambassador Award, and Henry, the longtime face of WIS-TV Sports in Columbia, will be bestowed with the fourth annual Herman Helms Media Excellence Award.
Those five honorees will be distinguished along with the new inductees of the SCAHoF Class of 2014 which include futures NFL Hall of Famer Brian Dawkins and quarterback Rodney Williams of Clemson, and basketball scorer Zam Frederick and pitcher Randy Martz from the University of South Carolina. Also being enshrined are S.C. State football standout Edwin Bailey; Olympian Monique Hennagan of Columbia; state golf legend Happ Lathrop; and Newberry basketball standout Carl Short.
Tickets (table of eight for $500) and program sponsorships may be purchased by calling the SCAHOF office at 803/779-0905. The affair, which includes a reception and dinner, begins at 5:30 p.m.
Special Achievement Award: Dawn Staley, South Carolina Womens Basketball Coach
Three-time Olympic gold medalist Dawn Staley took the reins of the University of South Carolina womens basketball program on May 10, 2008, instantly raising the Gamecocks presence in both the Southeastern Conference and the national stage. In the last three seasons, the Gamecocks have realized those expectations, posting three consecutive 25-win seasons for the first time in school history and reaching the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 twice in that stretch. The teams spot to the 2011-12 Sweet 16 was the programs first in a decade and Staleys first time advancing that far as a head coach after competing in three Final Fours as a player. In her 14 seasons as a head coach, Staley has amassed a 293-151 record, including her 119-71 slate in six seasons at South Carolina, and has led her teams to nine 20-win seasons and a total of 11 postseason appearances (two WNIT). Her 2013-14 highlights include a four-week stretch ranked in the nations top five, an SEC regular-season championship the first in program history and her SEC Coach of the Year and WBCA Region 3 Coach of the Year selections.
While her career has turned to coaching, Staley continues to be recognized for her body of work as a one of the most decorated participants in United States womens basketball history. The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame solidified her legacy with her enshrinement into the Hall as part of the Class of 2013. The Phoenix Club of Philadelphia established the Dawn Staley Award recognizing the nations top guard in womens Division I basketball in 2013 as well. Staley was inducted into the Womens Basketball Hall of Fame as part of the Class of 2012 and was one of the final nominees for induction to the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame the same year. In the summer of 2011, the WNBA recognized her as one of the leagues Top 15, honoring the most influential players in the leagues history.
Dom Fusci Leadership in Action Award: Dennis Powell, SCAHOF Board Member
A vital member of the University of South Carolinas 1971 Atlantic Coast Conference Basketball Championship team that was at one time ranked the No. 1 team in the nation, Dennis Powell has been a member of the South Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame Board of Directors for 14 years. Considered a go-to guy for anything involving the SCAHOF, Powell, during his senior year, earned the prestigious Buck Freeman Loyalty Award for the team that went to the universitys first NCAA Regional. As a sharpshooting guard who played alongside SCAHOF inductees John Roche, Tom Owens, Bobby Cremins and Kevin Joyce, Powell was a key member on three Frank McGuire-coached teams (as freshman were ineligible to play) that recorded an impressive combined 71-16 mark.
Since graduating from USC in 1971 with a degree in Business Administration/Marketing, Powell has been employed in the commercial mortgage banking business and is a partner with Dwyer Capital Mortgage, LLC in Columbia. Active in his adopted community, Powell, a native of New York City, has been active with the Columbia Tip-Off Club for many years and currently serves as its president. He also is a member of the board of directors for the annual Chick-fil-A Invitational Basketball Tournament that is hosted by Richland Northeast High School.