WATCH: South Carolina star Chloe Kitts highlights emotional journey with HC Dawn Staley after bagging national championship title

South Carolina coach Dawn Staley and star Chloe Kitts South Carolina coach Dawn Staley and star Chloe Kitts

South Carolina forward Chloe Kitts was instrumental in the Gamecocks winning the national championship game 87-75 against Caitlin Clark’s sharpshooting Iowa Hawkeyes.

She tallied a double-double of 11 points on 62.5% shooting from the field, 10 rebounds and two assists to help close out a perfect 38-0 season for the Gamecocks, which was coach Dawn Staley’s third national title.

In an Instagram reel on Friday, the forward highlighted the journey she has undertaken with coach Staley, from meeting the basketball legend as a child to winning a national championship under her tutelage.

“Little me would be so proud,” Kitts captioned the reel.

During her postgame news conference after the national title triumph, coach Dawn Staley praised Kitts’ performance and for stepping up from the bench.

“Chloe Kitts went up and down and all around, and then finally she settled in today to have a really good game,” Dawn Staley said. “But she had to come off the bench at times because of – not what she wasn’t doing, but it was more about what somebody was doing and doing well.

“And that can shake your confidence. But at the same time, you have to let h

er know the way you build trust in our coaching staff, it’s the same way your competitor is building trust.”

Chloe Kitts steps up for South Carolina

After registering 12 points, one rebound and one assist during the South Carolina Gamecocks’ 88-41 NCAA Tournament second-round blowout win against the North Carolina Tar Heels, Chloe Kitts went on a slump.

In the next three games before the final, she only tallied seven points in 38 minutes of action, and Ashlyn Watkins, who was performing well, was unmovable from the starting spot.

During the championship game, Ashlyn Watkins was playing with foul trouble, and suddenly the benched Chloe Kitts had a big role to play in the outcome of the Gamecocks’ most important game of the season.

During her postgame news conference, she highlighted the importance of her bench role, which allowed her to contribute in such a significant manner after being displaced from the team.

“It feels amazing,” Kitts said. “Everyone feels a part of it because everyone is a part of it. It shows how much work we put in. We wouldn’t do it if we all weren’t this close. We love each other and love being around each other.”

Chloe Kitts will attempt to lead South Carolina to a repeat of its national championship win next season for a full-circle moment for the forward under coach Dawn Staley’s leadership.

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