Blogs > Elm City to Eagleville

A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Memories of her brother live on for UConn's Saniya Chong


The tattoo on Saniya Chong’s left wrist is rather easy to overlook due to its lack of gaudiness but there is no understating its importance to the UConn freshman guard.

The tattoo merely says 1985-2006 in simple black lettering and every time Chong looks at the ink etching on her wrist, she can’t help but lovingly remember her older brother Andrew died in 2006 at the age of 20 of what was called a suicide in a 2011 story by the New York Post.

Chong was just starting to showcase her prolific offensive skill set at that time. Within a few years the college coaches began to take note of a speedy guard with incredible range on her jump shot. But even as Chong’s national profile began to rise, she never forget those early days when he older brother would have Saniya playing on his team during neighborhood pick-up games.

“He was more of a motivator and my middle brother was on the court with me,” Chong said. “He was nice, he would put me on his team and playing against his friends so it was pretty good.”

As a middle schooler Chong was obviously devastated by her brother’s death. She knew she had to do something to remember Andrew but keeping with her quiet nature, she wanted it to be something that was heart felt and not a way to bring extra attention onto herself.

“That was the very first thing I got,” Chong said, “I always talked about it and that was the first one, I knew I had to get it. I didn’t want something too big because I didn’t want it (so noticeable) on the court but I always knew something I could see.

“Since my tattoo is there I always see it. It is not like I am not thinking about it, every time I see the tattoo or see it that always reminds me of him, I always think about it. I see it every day so it is always like a remembrance right there. He is always there cheering me on, every time I (see) the tattoo he is always there everywhere I go.”

When Chong suits up for UConn she likely will need to wear a band aid or some sort of tape to cover the tattoo considering the UConn team rules about not having visible tattoos showing during games. Chong, a 5-foot-9 guard from Ossining, N.Y., is OK with that. She will wear whatever she needs to when she plays for the eight-time national champions.

“It’s been challenging and motivating but I am ready for it,” Chong said.

In other news, junior guard Brianna Banks said she hopes to be cleared for full-court basketball drills in about another week. I'll have more on her in the coming days but it's been a hectic day considering what has been going on with the football team here at UConn.


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1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jim, you think we can get clips of the other 7 girls? Thanks.

12:25 AM 

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