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July 12, 2006

Dawn Staley


THE MODERATOR: Dawn Staley. Questions, please.

Q. Undefeated coming in. Had your girls with you. When did it sink in that you guys were gonna lose? I think you all seemed like you felt there was another run coming.
DAWN STALEY: The third quarter. I think we went into halftime believing that we can go on a little run, but they came out on fire, you know. They took advantage of every opportunity they had to open the game up. We could never recover from that.

Q. This being your last All-Star Game, how happy can you be passing the game on to the three rookie teammates on your team as well as Candice, who you coached in college on the other team?
DAWN STALEY: I do believe that the WNBA is in great hands with the talent that's coming into this league just this year, but, you know, also looking into the near future.
I think I just overheard the dunking. Dunking will be a part of our game in the near future. We're going to be able to do that. We're going to be able to attract a different type of a fan base when we're able to play above the rim. But also, you know, it's not just on a basketball court. I think our younger players need to understand where this game has come from, the history of it, the good, the bad and the ugly of getting to this point.
So they need to take it to the next level.

Q. Dawn, with the players that were injured, the East didn't have that much. Does this kind of performance show how dispersed the talent is throughout the league?
DAWN STALEY: Certainly. I think, you know, the East is the team that was put together, was really balanced. They had not too many young players, just nice, experienced players. Any time you get four Connecticut players, they're a machine. Offensively, they're a machine. They work together. Any time you have any combination of them on the floor, you got to feel good as a coach.
But it was a good game. It got away from us. I would liked to have seen maybe me play with Lisa and Sheryl a little bit more to create some equal balance against that Connecticut squad (smiling).

Q. Dawn, being both a coach in college basketball, a marquee player in this league, a leader in women's athletics overall, what has it meant for you for this league to be successful?
DAWN STALEY: I'm just thrilled at the opportunity it gives women. I look at Cappie Pondexter, who had "Future WNBA" tattooed on her arm. I think that gave, ten years ago, she was just dreaming. Dreaming.
Then she used the college arena as a platform to get her skills ready for this moment. She seizes the moment at this time. This is what she's always wanted to do, to put on your body, I think it really shows what women's basketball, the WNBA, providing opportunities for women and having them realize their dreams. It's a beautiful thing to see unfold.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you, Dawn.

End of FastScripts...

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