USC coach, Dawn Staley, called for a third-quarter timeout when UCLA player Emily Bessoir was injured during their NCAA Tournament.
Only true sports fans know how much it can teach us about life. Training with discipline, persevering through difficulties, accepting defeat, appreciating opponents, and learning from them at the same time. Sportsmanship is as much for life as for the sport itself. At UCLA, its women's basketball coach Cori Close was disappointed as her team's season ended on March 25 after it lost to South Carolina. But she did not hesitate from praising USC coach Dawn Staley for what Close described as a shining moment of sportsmanship and class amid USC's 59-43 win, as reported by The State.
So cool of Dawn Staley to call a timeout there. Legend— Dano Mataya (@drmataya) March 25, 2023
Staley calls a timeout for an injured UCLA player rather than taking advantage of the 5 on 4.— Matt Vereen (@MattVereen) March 25, 2023
Love to see that level of sportsmanship.
South Carolina was leading UCLA 46-30 late in the third quarter at Bon Secours Wellness Arena, but Emily Bessoir, one of the Bruins' starting forwards, was injured as she battled with USC's Aliyah Boston for a rebound. Bessoir did not leave the court even as she suffered from pain as South Carolina advanced the ball up the court and turned it into an advantage and eventual victory — five offensive players against four defensive players. A referee had even noticed Bessoir's injury but had still not called a timeout.
Bessoir is down and crawls to the baseline. Refs don't see it as USC is running offense to the other end.— David Cloninger (@DCPandC) March 25, 2023
Dawn sees it and calls timeout so they can help her. She appears to be OK.
At this moment, the USC coach Staley took matters into her own hands. Instead of pushing for a win and extending USC's 16-point lead against a woman-down UCLA defense, Staley called a 30-second timeout at the 1:22 mark of the third quarter so Bessoir could receive medical care. “That’s exactly what it showed: her class and her global view of the game and what was most important at that moment,” Close said. “She did call that timeout only because of Emily being down. … Right after the play, I just turned to her and I just said, ‘Thank you, Dawn,’ and she acknowledged it."
The referrees in the Lady Gamecocks/UCLA game are terrible. And Dawn Staley (a class act) uses her own timeout with a 5 on 4 offense, because the ref doesn't stop the game with an injured UCLA player laying on the other end of the court.— Rod Culbertson (@RodCulbertson) March 25, 2023
Close and Staley have had a strong professional relationship and commitment to the sport over the past years. Outside of being coaches at their respective schools for more than a decade, they have also crossed paths many times within the Women's Basketball Coaches Association, which represents NCAA coaches. Close is also the president of the association.
Dawn Staley did what most coaches wouldn’t not do- called a timeout when a player on the opposing team was hurt instead of going for a 5 on 4 advantage.— Bridget B. (@OneandOnePod) March 25, 2023
Close further elaborated on her praise for Staley. “I mean, I think these kinds of moments in games, they reveal people’s character,” Close said. “And I think it just revealed a layer of her character, of what she deems most important, and that’s always the kids.” ESPN’s broadcast team also noted the call for a timeout after the initial confusion on whether Staley or an official called for a timeout after Bessoir’s reported thigh injury. Staley confirmed after the game that she called the timeout exclusively so Bessoir could get adequate medical attention.
Emily Bessoir gets hit in the leg reaching for a rebound and stayed down. Dawn Staley called a timeout. Bessoir grabbed at her right leg. She missed all of last season with a torn left ACL, but walked off the court slowly and was able to hop on her right leg.— Thuc Nhi Nguyen (@thucnhi21) March 25, 2023
Bruins down 46-30.
Did Dawn Staley just call a timeout for an injured UCLA player? What a classy move! #MarchMadness— Jerrad Anderson (@Jerrad307) March 25, 2023
“I mean, I don’t like to see players go down in any situation,” Staley said. “If we can control the situation, we can get (help) — you never know what type of injury it is, so you want to get medical attention over to them as quickly as possible. It was the right thing to do. It was the right thing to do to make sure the young lady was OK.”
dawn staley called a timeout cause a ucla player was hurt. such a class act.— k.. (@savagekay24) March 25, 2023
Back to basketball: Dawn Staley just called a timeout when she saw a UCLA player injured on the court so that the game would stop and UCLA could check on their player. Impressive bit of sportsmanship.— Maggie Hendricks (@maggiehendricks) March 25, 2023
Finally, South Carolina outscored UCLA to build up an insurmountable lead and eventually become a part of the Elite Eight. As for Bessoir, her injury wasn't too serious and she could bounce back and score six points with three rebounds. All thanks to Staley!