Blogs > Elm City to Eagleville

A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

National champions receive rousing welcome home

The day after celebration following a national championship is not a new phenomenon on the UConn campus but there was a little bit of a new twist this year,

Rather than have a pep rally inside Gampel Pavilion, the UConn players and staff member rode on a double-decker bus on what was called a "Victory Lap."

While there weren't too many fans on the route, when the team arrived at Fairfield Way Plaza more than 2,000 supporters made up mostly of fellow UConn students were waiting for them.

"We talked about how we were going to do it this year and usually we had it in here and we thought that having it outside and making it more kind of spontaneous for the students and that is kind of who this is all for anyway," UConn coach Geno Auriemma said. "I thought it worked out great, I thought the kids were generally really excited when they saw the crowd and just felt the energy."

The players were soaking up the energy generated from the crowd.

"It is amazing and they are behind us every day, every game and to have them all turn out like this is really special," UConn senior forward/center Heather Buck said.

"It is cool. They have had a great turnout in Gampel but it is nice to be out in fresh air and do the little double decker."

UConn President Susan Herbst, Director of Athletics Warde Manuel spoke at the rally outside the Student Union followed by Auriemma and Kelly Faris.

The highlight of Auriemma's time at the podium came courtesy of the energetic son of team videographer Keith Anderson who was wearing a bunch of beads from the week spent in New Orleans.

"You know how you get beads in New Orleans?" Auriemma asked drawing a rise out of the crowd. "You don't see me with any, Stef (Dolson) has a bunch actually Morgan Tuck has the most."

On a more serious note, Auriemma said the impact of winning the national title truly hits home when the team returns to campus.

"When you do something like we did last night, sometimes you don't realize because you are playing in it and it is a basketball game you think people here, we do it kind of in a bubble," Auriemma said. "We play Louisville and then you wake up the next morning, we didn't just win what we did was we gave a whole lot of people a reason to have a party I didn't go to school here but I have been here 28 years and the only thing we do better than championships in Storrs, Connecticut is we party. I know there are probably a lot of student-athletes here but I know that there are a couple and the other thing that you understand is when we do something like this, when one of our teams does something like this that reflects back on every single kid who plays sports at this university and that win was as much for you guys men and women as it was for our team."


Anonymous Joe said...


Enjoy and appreciate your comprehensive coverage. Any chance you might do a story on the men's practice squad?

Are they the same players throughout the year or do they routinely change? do they get coaching so that they can simulate an opponent or help the Huskies learn how to react to a particular strategy?

I know I'd find it interesting at least.


9:38 AM 

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