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A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Werth family has long relationship with UConn women

UConn women's basketball coach Geno Auriemma couldn't recall when he first became aware of the philanthropic Werth family from Woodbridge but he believes they have been loyal supporters of the Huskies for about the last 15 years.

Peter and Pam Werth, who also own a home in Phoenix, got to know former UConn star Diana Taurasi when she was a rookie with the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury. On Thursday it was announced that they pledged $4.5 million to the building of a basketball practice facility on the land where Memorial Stadium now stands.

If all goes well, Auriemma has heard that the facility could open as early as in September of 2013.

"I think what Peter and Pam Werth did was just kind of jump start the process in a lot of ways because when people see that, they all want to jump on board and be a part of it," Auriemma said. "Peter and Pam have been involved with UConn women's basketball for a long time and they were at the World Championships last year in the Czech Republic. They are great people, two of the nicest people you will ever meet. Once that word got out that this is what they were going to do, I think all of a sudden everybody else who is in position to be able to do that starts contacting the school and see 'how do I get involved?'

"When something is a priority, it is going to get done. It was a priority to build the football practice facility and it got done. It was a priority to build Rentschler Field and it got done. If it is priority to build this thing, it will get done. We just need a couple more people like Pam and Peter to step up and they will. They are out there and it our job to go out (and find them). Having lunch with Peter and Pam for me was like the greatest thing in the world because you are telling people what you are going to do and you are not lying to them. When I first started in 1985 and I was telling people what I was going to do, I was lying. Now you look people right in the eye and say we are going to do this, we are going to do that and we just need your help to do that. People are just dying to help because they know you are telling the truth because they have seen it and have already felt it. I am thrilled to death, I can't wait."

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