IN PHOTOS: Dawn Staley, Kamilla Cardoso and co. celebrate women’s national championship with packed crowd

Dawn Staley, Kamilla Cardoso and co. celebrate womenDawn Staley, Kamilla Cardoso and co. celebrate women’s national championship

On Sunday, Kamilla Cardoso joined her teammates and coach Dawn Staley in the victory parade after the South Carolina Gamecocks won the NCAA championship on April 7, beating the Iowa Hawkeyes 87-75. This was the Gamecocks’ third title after 2017 and 2022.

The South Carolina X handle shared some pictures from the celebration as thousands of fans came onto the streets of Columbia to cheer the players.

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The parade included a float with tombstones for all the teams SC beat in its run to an undefeated season. The team drove seven blocks in the downtown area before finishing off at the State House.

Kamilla Cardoso, who declared for the 2024 WNBA draft, was supposed to be in New York city for the orientation. However, she skipped it to enjoy the victory parade with her teammates.

Once at the State House, coach Dawn Staley addressed the crowd and thanked them for their support.

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“The love that you pour into us as we drove down main street, it is uncommon,” she said, “and I really, really deeply appreciate your love, your unconditional love.” (via USA TODAY)

“I hope we can end our [next] season at the same time, in the same place on this beautiful day,” Staley said. “Thank you so much for loving up on us. We truly appreciate it.” (via ESPN)

Kamilla Cardoso could be a potential No. 2 pick in the 2024 WNBA Draft

After transferring to South Carolina from Syracuse in her sophomore season, Kamilla Cardoso has her best season in her senior year. She averaged 14.4 points, 9.7 rebounds and 2.0 assists.

The 2024 SEC Defensive Player of the Year is a true back-to-the-basket post player and was initially expected to be a No. 3 or No. 4 pick. However, her exploits during March Madness have increased her draft stock.

In just 23 minutes, the center had 22 points and 11 rebounds, shooting 10-of-12 in the Final Four win over NC State.

During a media conference call on Thursday, ESPN analyst Rebecca Lobo said:

“I think Kamilla is in the conversation for No. 2. I think especially with how she performed over the last month of the season, she was dominant.”

“Before that, was she going to be a lottery pick most likely? Yes. But she’s certainly solidified her position in the top four and potentially in the top two or three.” (via The State)

The current predicted No. 2, Cameron Brink (30.4%) has better 3-point shooting than Cardoso. But it will be interesting to see if the teams are willing to take Kamilla in and work on her shooting later.

The 2024 WNBA draft from the Brooklyn Academy of Music will air at 7.30 p.m. EST on Monday (Apr. 15) on ESPN.

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