While the Oregon Ducks were eliminated from the NCAA Basketball Tournament on Sunday, star player Sedona Prince likely left a lasting mark on the event.
Prince, 20, went viral during the tournament when she posted a video to social media showing the stark differences between the training equipment that was provided for the men's and women's NCAA teams.
In the video, Prince revealed that the women's teams were only provided six pairs of dumbbells of varying weights, while the men were given a gym's worth of equipment.
"If you aren't upset about this problem, then you are a part of it," Prince said in the video.
The footage sparked criticism across social media, leading to NCAA senior vice president of basketball Dan Gavitt issuing an apology. The NCAA also revamped the women's workout area shortly after.
Prince — from Liberty Hill, Texas — said the added attention from her post made her a bit more nervous while competing in the tournament.
"[The opening game on Monday] I was extremely nervous before, because I knew a lot of people would be watching," she told ESPN. "So I was nervous. But that's a good thing. We want more people to watch, so I'll have to get used to it. I was talking to the trainers and I was just on one before the game, but they calmed me down. My teammates huddled around me and lifted me up."
"It's amazing that now I have such a big platform and I'm able to inspire and help so many people and bring attention to my sport because that's what it deserves," she added.
Prince has proved to be a star player since joining the Ducks in 2019 after transferring from the University of Texas, where she spent her freshman year while rehabbing an injury.
According to ESPN, Prince broke her tibia and fibula while competing in Mexico City as a part of the United States U18 team at the FIBA Americas championship.
After sitting out one more year, 6-foot-7 Prince — who is tied with Stefanie Kasperski as the tallest player ever on the team — was able to play as a redshirt sophomore with the Ducks for the 2020-2021 season.
"How blessed am I to be coaching a young woman like her?" Oregon head coach Kelly Graves told CNN of Prince. "She is really the whole package. Not only a tremendous player. But just think of the pressure she's had on her being so outspoken. She's had a lot of attention placed on her, and she has backed it up. And that's not easy to do. I'm really proud of her and really happy for her and the rest of the team."
The team has now set their sights on next's year tournament after their run came to an end on Sunday with a 60-42 loss to Louisville in the Sweet 16. But in a matter of a few short weeks, Prince undoubtedly helped to bring attention to what NCAA women's teams deserve now and into the future.
"We deserve just as much credit as the men do," Prince told CNN. "Through all this stuff, I've learned a lot. But it's that people love women's basketball. People will support us if we use our platform, if we talk about it. That's amazing. I didn't know that. That's so cool. I love that and I hope that more big organizations give us the credit we deserve."
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