Blogs > Elm City to Eagleville

A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Thursday, April 04, 2013

Winning ways for UConn players does not start in college

"That UConn ilk" is how DePaul women's basketball coach Doug Bruno likes to refer to the aura surrounding the players that his close friend Geno Auriemma brings into UConn.

Whether it is players like Sue Bird and Tina Charles out of the legendary Christ the King program, Maya Moore leading Collins Hill to incredible heights or more recently Kelly Faris being a member of four straight state title winning teams, Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis being the star on the No. 1 ranked team in the country or current freshmen Moriah Jefferson, Breanna Stewart and Morgan Tuck combining to lead their teams to a 90-11 record in their final high school seasons, the Huskies have the luxury of pursuing players who know nothing else but being part of a winning atmosphere.

"When you play in a basketball program in high school where you are only accustomed to winning, I think that stays with you and becomes a part of who you are," Auriemma said. "It is uncanny I guess how many players we have gotten (from winning programs)."

The story will be the same in the next few years.

UConn's lone signee for the 2013-14 is Saniya Chong who led her Ossining (N.Y.) team to the program's first state title. Among the three committed players in the Class of 2014, one is Courtney Ekmark whose St. Mary's High out of Phoenix squad is ranked second in the USA Today national poll. Fellow Class of 2014 recruiting target Kathryn Westbeld's Fairmont squad is ranked 21st in the same poll while UConn Class of 2015 recruiting targets Napheesa Collins and Katie Lou Samuelson are members of the Incarnate Word and Mater Dei teams ranked 11th and 12th respectively in the national poll.

Assuming that I don't have any traveling issues tomorrow. I am planning to hold to chat to preview the Final Four tomorrow afternoon (likely starting at 2 p.m.) I will have more details either later on today or tomorrow morning when I am expected to arrive in New Orleans.

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