August 18, 2023 

The legacy of Gamecock Tiffany Mitchell

South Carolina will retire Mitchell's jersey on Nov. 12

Since the inception of the Dawn Staley era in 2008, the South Carolina women’s basketball team has experienced a 180-degree turnaround of success. The program’s rise to national prominence included its first trip to the Final Four in 2015, led in large part by Charlotte, North Carolina-native Tiffany Mitchell (2012-2016). On Nov. 12, before tipoff of the Gamecocks’ home game against Maryland, Mitchell’s jersey will be raised to the rafters of Colonial Life Arena.

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Representatives from the South Carolina Athletics Department, University Board of Trustees and the USC Lettermen’s Association select which jerseys are retired. After a five year waiting period, a jersey may be considered for retirement based upon “post-season national and conference recognitions, school record holders, impact on team accomplishments and either graduating from South Carolina or leaving the school in good academic standing.”

A two-time SEC Player of the Year (2014 and 2015) Mitchell is the first player under head coach Dawn Staley to have her jersey retired. She joins Martha Parker, Sheila Foster and Shannon Johnson as the only other South Carolina women’s basketball players with retired jerseys.

Mitchell has an extensive collection of individual accomplishments on the basketball court. During college, Mitchell — currently a guard with the WNBA’s Minnesota Lynx — earned three-time All-American honors and is one of just three Gamecocks to finish her career with at least 1,500 points, 300 assists and 200 steals. She ranks seventh in program history in scoring (1,885 career points) and third in minutes played (4,167 minutes). When she graduated from South Carolina in 2016, she was the most decorated player in program history.

During her time in Columbia Mitchell was not only a bucket on the court, but also a scholar in the classroom. As a senior, she was named a recipient of the athletic department’s President’s Award, awarded to a student-athlete in recognition of their cumulative achievements in academics, athletics, service and leadership.

When considered together, Mitchell’s accomplishments both on and off the court have earned her the honor of a retired jersey, and Dawn Staley recognizes the importance of honoring the program’s past.

“Retired jerseys may seem cliché for some, but for me, they showcase players of our program who have demonstrated excellence on and off the court,” South Carolina women’s basketball head coach Dawn Staley said. “It shows the legacy they contributed to women’s basketball and women’s sports. For a player like Tiffany, who believed in Gamecock women’s basketball before we ever won a title and bought into the vision from day one, this is incredible. She paved the way for our team to become the best.”

Written by Caylen Johnson

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