Blogs > Elm City to Eagleville

A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Special night for Huskies

UConn women's basketball coach Geno Auriemma and his star senior forward Maya Moore have only been back in the United States for a couple of days after teaming up to help the U.S. reclaim its rightful place atop the women's basketball world by winning the FIBA World Championship.

But if they were still dealing with jet lag, Thursday's dinner honoring UConn's 2009-10 national championship squaf at the Aqua Turf in Southington served to invigorate them.

"When you hang out with the pros, you begin to realize how special college is and how special we have it here to have this support," said Moore, referencing the 720 people in attendance at the dinner. "I am very appreciative of everybody here knowing this is my last year, you realize how special it is to have a group that cares that much about not only basketball but women's basketball here at UConn. This is my last go around for everything, I want to enjoy it."

Auriemma felt a weight lifted off his shoulders when the final buzzer went on in Sunday's World Championship gold medal game and the U.S. defeated host Czech Republic 89-69. After a stunning loss to Russia in the semifinals of the 2006 tournament, the U.S. had four years of being called the World Championship bronze medalists. Auriemma was hired to lead the U.S. to the World Championship and Olympic titles and he is halfway to his goal.

Still, he is a little wiped out emotionally. It's understandable since he was under tremendous pressure to lead the U.S. to the world title. When he returned, the start of the first official practice was so close that he was ready to get back into the swing of things.

"It accomplished both," Auriemma said. "It made me realize I need three or four days off this weekend. The kids are all going home pretty much and we have the long weekend so Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday will be really good to get out and get away from everything but the fact that I have been thinking about basketball non-stop for the past three weeks is pretty good because I am in basketball mode now. I have things fresh in my mind, I know what I want to do, I know how I want to do it. They started the motor running and I am kind of excited about it."

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