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North Philly native Dawn Staley opens up about her interview for the Portland Trail Blazers head coaching job

Staley wants to use what she learned from the process to help future women coaching candidates.

Dawn Staley led Team USA to an undefeated run for their seventh consecutive gold medal.
Dawn Staley led Team USA to an undefeated run for their seventh consecutive gold medal.Read moreCharlie Neibergall / AP

Dawn Staley is stacking up achievements in 2021. It’s the eighth month of the year and she’s already led South Carolina to an SEC championship and Final Four appearance, coached Team USA to a gold medal and interviewed for an NBA head coaching job.

The first two are more common knowledge, but the third hasn’t been discussed much outside of the NBA news cycle. Staley and San Antonio Spurs assistant Becky Hammon interviewed interviewed for the Portland Trail Blazers opening that eventually went to Chauncey Billups, whose hiring sparked criticism after sexual assault allegations against him were unearthed. The Blazers received further scrutiny for their investigation of the 1997 case.

» READ MORE: From North Philly to Tokyo: Dawn Staley makes her debut as the U.S. Olympic women’s head basketball coach

On Tea with A & Phee podcast with WNBA stars Napheesa Collier and A’ja Wilson, the North Philly legend opened up about her experience with the Trail Blazers.

“I never had an ounce of me that wanted to coach in the WNBA or NBA, until somebody sought me out, like the Portland Trail Blazers,” Staley said.

“When you’re being sought out, you have to vet it a little bit to see if they’re really serious about it. I thought they treated me like a real candidate. Whether or not they seriously considered me, I felt like it wasn’t a fluke. So I agreed to do it.”

Staley said that she’d used her interview process to help other women who get in that position.