Blogs > Elm City to Eagleville

A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Monday, October 14, 2013

UConn stars reflect on national team camp experience

It might not be accurate to describe the trip to Las Vegas as a thrill of a lifetime for UConn stars Stefanie Dolson, Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis and Breanna Stewart simply because all three players are hoping the time spent working out with the U.S. national team is just the start of a quest to make the U.S. Olympic team.

Although they only took part in three practices over three days, they believe the experience will serve them well this season.

"Just seeing how hard the older players and how they never quit," Dolson said. "Tamika (Catchings), I was with Tamika a lot when they split up the teams and she never stops talking, she never quits. If she misses a shot she will go down and get a steal and it is just something that you kind of see as a younger player and you see the experience that they all have and just kind of take it all in."

WNBA MVP Candace Parker made it a point of mentioning Stewart as one of the young players who impressed her during the training camp.

"Just to be around them and play against them was an honor," Stewart said. "I think it is going to help me a lot, I think it is going to help me mentally because I am able to compete with them at practice and practice at them and getting ready for the season and using what I learned from them i a couple of days in Las Vegas and putting them (to use) at UConn."

The current Huskies have interacted with former UConn greats and knowing Olympic gold medalists Sue Bird, Tina Charles and Diana Taurasi helped make things go a little more smoothly.
Half of the college players at training camp were UConn products

"They were awesome Diana, Sue, Tina because we would come off after doing some stuff and they would help us out knowing that they came from Connecticut, played for Coach and did so well and everything they say, you need to write it down," Dolson said. "It was a lot of help and a great experience."

That doesn't mean that there were some anxious moments as the current college stars got to share the court with players they grew up idolizing.

"The best part for me was to go out there and be a part of some of the best players to ever play women's basketball and get to know them on a personal level," Mosqueda-Lewis said. "You see them on TV and obviously they are great players and they are also great people and you don't get to know that until you spend time with them

"I think I was one of the more nervous ones out there just because I didn't know what to expect, I didn't want to do too much. I just wanted to go out there and play basketball."

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