The White House celebration of collegiate champions are scheduled to take place on Friday, however, one of the women’s basketball team from South Carolina will not avail itself.
Surprisingly, reports from ESPN indicate that President Donald Trump invited South Carolina, among other teams that won titles last year in various sports, but head Coach Dawn Staley won’t accept the invite.
"We did hear from the White House about attending tomorrow's event, but we will not be able to attend," Staley said in a statement, via CNN's Jill Martin. "As I've been saying since our practices for this season started, all of our focus is on the season ahead. The only invitation we are thinking about is to the 2018 NCAA tournament."
The women’s team scooped its first national championship last April after it won a Mississippi State in the title game. One of the profound players, Staley, who spent a decade in the WNBA and won three Olympic gold medals as a player, revealed some time back in May that she would have no problem meeting with Trump if she was given the golden opportunity.
As of September, however, she had still not received the invite.
"We haven’t gotten an invitation yet and that in itself speaks volumes," Staley said, per Doug Feinberg of the Associated Press. "We won before those other teams won their championships. I don’t know what else has to happen."
According to the coach, it’s very important for the team to remain focused on the 2017-18 season and that’s why the coach is advocating for the elimination of distractions and pointed out.