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Women’s basketball team unable to attend White House event

South Carolina's women's basketball team will not attend a White House ceremony Friday for collegiate champions.

The university did not give a specific reason for declining an invitation to the event. The State newspaper reported Thursday the team was invited earlier this month.

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

The White House had not announced by late Thursday which teams will be meeting with President Donald Trump.

Staley said in April that she would to go to the White House if invited after leading the Gamecocks to the school's first NCAA basketball championship. No invitation was extended until this month. Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, now U.S. ambassdor to the United Nations, told reporters in September (per The State newspaper) the team would be invited sometime this fall.


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