By Derrick Z. Jackson
Besides the unprecedented appearance of two Black head coaches in the women’s Final Four, we can also celebrate the academic excellence of Black players off the court in my 24th annual review of graduation rates for March Madness teams. South Carolina women’s basketball coach Dawn Staley runs a program that possesses a 93% Graduation Success Rate (GSR) for its Black players. Similarly, the other Black coach in the Final Four, Adia Barnes of Arizona, is at the helm of a program that graduates 92% of its Black players.
The other two programs in the women’s Final Four, UConn and Stanford, are long-standing champions in my 24 years of charting graduation rates of the teams in March Madness. Both schools have a 100% GSR for all players. For UConn, this is the seventh straight year of perfection. For Stanford, it is six years in a row.