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A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Jimmy V Classic still a big deal for Geno

Nine years have passed since UConn took part in the inaugural women's basketball Jimmy V Classic but the time has done little to diminish UConn coach Geno Auriemma's sense of honor in being involved in the event.

The 2011 Jimmy V Classic will take place tonight at 7 p.m. when defending national champion Texas A&M faces UConn at the XL Center. While there is not nearly as much buzz around the event as there was in 2002 when UConn met North Carolina State and Duke faced Tennessee in a doubleheader at the RBC Center in Raleigh, N.C. But in Auriemma's eyes, each time the Huskies are able to take part in the Classic, it is a special occasion.

"We said this down at the dinner and I think Connecticut always has a special place in the Jimmy V Classic because of the time he spent here as a coach and the relationships he had with Dee Rowe (when Valvano was an assistant on Rowe's UConn squad) and the relationship Dee Rowe had with Jimmy, his family, his wife, his children," Auriemma said. "I think there is always going to be a special bond between Coach Valvano and Connecticut and for us to be a part of it is a huge thrill for me. I grew up a lot as a coach in the ACC when he was coaching (at North Carolina State) and I am a big, big fan of what he did and how he did it. At the same time, the cause I don't know that anybody has done more for the awareness, raising money (for cancer research) and what they have contributed more than the Jimmy V Foundation. How many people in their lives that did as many as he did for people when he was alive and now actually has done maybe even more for people since he passed away?  I think he has left a great legacy and I am happy to be a part of it."
For those scoring at home, this will be the fourth time UConn will play in the Jimmy V Classic tying Duke and Rutgers for the most appearances.

People who want to help out with the cause can click here

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