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South Carolina women decline White House invite

Allen Kee/ESPN Images
Allen Kee/ESPN Images

(WASHINGTON) — On Friday, President Donald Trump is hosting the collegiate sports champions of the past year at the White House. The South Carolina women’s basketball team, however, will not be in attendance.

“We did hear from the White House about attending [Friday’s] event, but we will not be able to attend,” Gamecocks head coach Dawn Staley said in a statement. “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.”

When South Carolina won its first ever national championship back in April, Staley said her team would go to the White House because of what it stood for, and it’s what national champions before her team did. However, as of September the team had not received an invite to go to the White House, and Staley said she was unsure she would accept an invite given recent events that had transpired.

The White House did not provide a list of the teams that will be attending Friday’s reception. The 2017 national champion North Carolina men’s basketball team will also not be in attendance, but said earlier in the year they could not agree on a date for a visit. President Trump previously hosted the 2016 NCAA football champion Clemson Tigers in June.

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