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OUR VIEW: PC women’s basketball shows us what grit looks like

Coach Sharp still wearing a net they cut down after winning Big South Women's Basketball Tournament Championship


Presbyterian College women’s basketball head coach Alaura Sharp said her team, after a 19-point regular season loss on the road, decided that in the tournament, they were not coming home “without a net around my neck.” Now it seems like Coach Sharp never will take that net off. She wore it, below, last Monday when the team stepped off its bus in front of Templeton Center. In fairness, the PC Facebook page does have a photo from the welcome home event with the net (a net??) draped over the Big South Tournament Championship trophy; however, it is unclear if THAT net is COACH SHARP’S net.

There are TWO on a basketball court, after all.

This Congratulations Commentary was written before PC finds out who and where its women’s basketball team is going to play in the big dance (remember, you can’t write MM because it’s trademarked) and at this point it almost doesn’t matter (they defeated Sacred Heart and lost to South Carolina). Oh, sure, it matters to the coaches who have to game-plan, and it will matter to the players who have to match-up; but, for Presbyterian College, just the tournament championship is a huge step. Its success in NCAA Division I and the Big South and the Pioneer Football League has been checkered at best. It wasn’t that long ago that a former football coach told his players, why not buy in to my system, you’ve never won games here, so what have you got to lose - totally ignoring the Hall of Fame credentials of the late Cally Gault. Certainly, throwing shade on a program’s past, at least in our mind, is not the way to ensure a program’s future.

No, you have to have Institutional Memory. You HAVE TO remember the Big South titles that men’s tennis and baseball have won, you have to know about softball’s recent success, you have to know about the times when PC Football was nationally ranked - and, for the thousandth time, you have to know about and respect the Bronze Derby.

Just minutes after the Presbyterian College Women’s Basketball Team won the Hercules Tire Big South Conference Tournament Championship, a PC alumnae posted about this team making HERstory. Not lost in all the commotion is the fact that THIS IS Women’s History Month. PC leads the way, with a woman president, a woman athletics director, women administrators and coaches, and a hard-working band of women student athletes. This is not sexism, this is not celebrate the women and forget the men. This is a call for us all - all of Laurens County - to acknowledge that we have a gem in OUR college, Presbyterian College or, as some call it, PC College. It has been that way since 1880.

And, since 1977, we have had a very competitive women’s basketball program; it’s had other 20-win seasons. The City of Clinton’s current mayor, Randy Randall, was the women’s basketball team’s first coach (remember that institutional memory) - and Randall has been staunchly in PC’s corner ever since, also serving as the PA announcer for PC home football. The current county council chairman, Brown Patterson, gave the Blue Hose women a shout-out at last Monday’s county meeting.

Now, going forward. It would seem to us that this basketball championship could greatly enhance PC’s nationwide recruiting - already a team with a national and, indeed, an international profile, the PC women can lay claim to those players who want the small college atmosphere with a chance to play on the biggest stage. As South Carolina Coach Dawn Staley says, her players want a shot at the WNBA - our players just want a shot at playing and finding a tribe and excelling in the classroom and taking those lessons learned into the work and family world. And, sometimes, Magic Happens.