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A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Bria Hartley remembers Apache Paschall

UConn sophomore guard Bria Hartley was on the verge of tears when I asked for her reaction and recollections of her AAU coach Robert "Apache" Paschall, who died on Tuesday at the age of 38.

"He was my AAU coach and he meant a lot to me," Hartley said after scoring a team-high 18 points in UConn's 79-60 win over West Virginia on Wednesday night. "It is sad he had to go. I loved him. I knew he was sick but I didn't think it would be this soon. He just found out (he had skin cancer) in October. When I first started playing after my freshman year (at North Babylon High) and he did a lot for me and helped me get better and threw me out there on the AAU circuit against the good teams and it helped me."

The New York Daily News reported that Paschall is believed to have suffered a fatal heart attack. The founder of the Exodus AAU program and highly successful high school coach at St. Michael's Academy and Nazareth is credited for developing a host of New York stars.

"He did a lot for New York City basketball," UConn coach Geno Auriemma said. "He did a lot for kids growing up there, gave them a lot of exposure and created a program out of nothing in both high school and in AAU.
"I had no idea that he was sick as he was so that kind of came as a surprise to me but then I found out he had been battling that for a while so it was a big shocker for me. I think for a lot of kids playing in college, I know Bria Hartley played for him so she was affected a little bit by it."

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