Blogs > Elm City to Eagleville

A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Former Huskies Moore, Taurasi share a common basketball bond

Although Maya Moore and Diana Taurasi never played together at UConn, you would never be able to tell due to their on-court chemistry during Friday's West squad's All-Star practice at Mohegan Sun Arena,

“There is always this connection you have with former Huskies especially the ones who are former No. 1 (rated high school) player in the nation and win multiple championships, you share a lot,” Moore said. “Your journeys are different but you still share the same expectations, the spotlight, the teamwork, the sacrifice, the long hours, the toughness from coach, the same places, the same classes, the same professors some times. It is pretty cool to have that connection knowing that you make them proud when you do well just like the way the girls make me proud now that I have graduated.”

Moore, in the midst of her third season with the Minnesota Lynx, and Taurasi, who is in her 10th season with the Phoenix Mercury, were both voted to the West’s starting lineup for Saturday’s mid-season classic at Mohegan Sun Arena.

Taurasi broke the hearts of many in her native California when she opted to enroll at UConn. Three national championships later Taurasi was one of the most recognizable female athletes of her era when she thrived under Auriemma’s tutelage.

Moore, who some thought was destined to be a star in the Southeastern Conference, also opted to venture to New England to play for the Huskies. She not only was a part of a pair of national championships but also helped UConn post back to back perfect seasons.

Now they are back in Connecticut and will play in what could be a sellout crowd at Mohegan Sun.
More than a few times they figure to combine for some dazzling plays much to the delight of the UConn faithful eager to watch them and fellow former Husky Tina Charles take to the court.

“She is just so much to watch,” Taurasi said of Moore. “There aren't many players that when they are on (she watches).  I watch her the whole game because no matter how old you are you can always learn, you can always see what is working. She does so many things on the court to impact the game, it is pretty phenomenal. You can spot shadow her and you can watch her throughout the game. Her activity, her willingness to make the play, I think at times in games you get caught up in trying to make every play, she makes the right play. That comes from playing a lot of basketball being really smart and having the skill to do it.”

So what does Taurasi think about having the chance to play in front of many of the same fans who rooted her on in college?

“I think it is awesome, I really do,” Taurasi said. “It would be nice to trade for Tina and get her on the West (squad) too but I think it is great for the fans to watch a couple of generations removed.”

Three former Huskies will be in the starting lineup as East head coach Lin Dunn of the Indiana Fever picked Charles to replace the injured Elena Delle Donne in the starting lineup for the East.


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