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A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Scrimmage offers new wrinkle to First Night festivities

From Midnight Madness to the SuperShow to First Night, there have been a variety of events planned to try to make the annual FanFest as interesting as possible to the UConn fan base.

Tomorrow comes the latest experiment as the men's and women's teams will be split into two teams, one coached by Geno Auriemma and the other one by Kevin Ollie.

At American Athletic Conference media day Auriemma weighed in with his thoughts on the scrimmage.

"I think it is another fun thing for them to do," Auriemma said. "I don't know who picks the teams but generally you have some say on the teams you are coaching but this one was just handed to me, I don't know which general manager picked that team but we will be talking about that afterwards. I think it is going to be fun for the kids, I know they are all looking forward to it. It is just a fun thing, it is an opportunity to run up and down. You can do some things with guys that you can't do with women and I am sure they are looking forward to it as well  The guys already know they are pretty good, they (the women's players) are not physically at he level that any of our guys are at so maybe that will put to rest all the geniuses out there 'well, you should play your men's team because you would do very well against them' so they could see comparatively out there that there are two different things and you get to appreciate what some of our players do and I am looking forward to it."

UConn junior guard Brianna Banks, still working her way back from knee injury she suffered against St. John's last season, is a member of "Team Kevin" but she will not take part in the scrimmage portion of First Night.

Doors open at Gampel Pavilion at 6 p.m. There will be an autograph session with players and coaches from men's and women's teams until 6:45 p.m. with First Night festivities starting at 7 p.m. Admission is free and parking is $3 in both the North and South garages.

The Connecticut Sun Foundation and Mohegan Tribe Donations Committee will each contribute $2,930 ($10 for each rebound grabbed by Tina Charles during the 2014 season) to Charles'  Hopey’s Heart Foundation.

The foundation was established by Charles in April in memory of her late aunt Maureen “Hopey” Vaz. The Foundation hosts a grant program to supply Automatic External Defibrillators (AEDs) to schools and recreational centers.

“I'd like to thank the Connecticut Sun Foundation and Mohegan Sun for their support of the Hopey's Heart Foundation,” Charles said. “Through their donations, we are able to provide life-saving AEDs to approximately 10 schools and recreational centers throughout the country. I truly appreciate their generosity in helping me to increase awareness of Sudden Cardiac Arrest and the need for AEDs wherever people are active.”

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