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A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Dailey's honor a highlight of UConn's Senior Day

Perhaps the biggest upset of the women's college basketball season up to this point is that UConn associate head coach Chris Dailey had no idea of the honor that was bestowed on her earlier today.

There is not an aspect of the UConn program that Dailey doesn't have her finger on so when members of Dailey's family were contacted about her impending induction into the Huskies of Honor, somehow the word never trickled down to Dailey.

"You can't even describe it because I wasn't expecting it and he (UConn coach Geno Auriemma) doesn't keep secrets very well so I didn't know anything and he didn't say anything," Dailey said. "Usually you would think somebody would blab and it would usually be him."

Pretty much from the time the Huskies of Honor program was created, it was more of a case of when and not if Dailey would be included among the legendary figures she helped to recruit and coach. Auriemma said he wasn't sure why but this just seemed to be the right time. After Moriah Jefferson and Breanna Stewart had their banners unveiled, the mystery surrounding who the third banner was for ended up being revealed.

Morgan Tuck was the only player who knew what was coming. She was told on Friday just so she wouldn't think she was being honored in that fashion.

 "I think CD is extremely important," Tuck said. "She is the one who keeps everybody on our toes and makes sure we are doing the right things. Every little thing, CD is on us, how we dress, how we act or (wearing) headphones so she helps us become better people."

Dailey knew some of her family members would be in attendance but didn't realize just how many of them made the trip until the announcement came that she was joining the Huskies of Honor.
"My sister lives in London, my brother came from Ohio," Dailey said. "I had no idea that a lot of my cousins, my aunt and a lot of people were here. Just to see your name up here, it is emotional because I know my parents would be really, really proud. They were here at the very beginning."

Dailey's father passed away in 2003 and her mom died just last year. Dailey teared up when discussing the support she received from her parents.

"It is never enough to say that she has been for as long as I have," Auriemma  said. "I think the most important thing is putting her up on that wall kind of puts her next to, not above, not under but next to all the people who wouldn't be on that wall if it wasn't for her so I think it is very appropriate. Every single player that is up there, there's a pretty good chance they wouldn't be there if it wasn't for a bunch of stuff that CD did."

So why was Saturday the day for Dailey to be honored?

"We are not getting any younger and I always say it is never too early to do something but there can come a time when maybe it is too late," Auriemma said. "Maybe we missed the boat, maybe we should have done it when her mom was alive. I know she is our biggest fan, her and (Dailey's) dad but just felt like the right time to do it, I don't know why. I am glad we did it and every player who has ever played her appreciates it."

There was a video at halftime with many of the players weighing in on Dailey's honor including Rebecca Lobo playfully mentioning many of the Dailey-enforced rules and suggesting that Dailey needs to step it up because she is the coach of the post players and the list of players in the Huskies of Honor is dominated by perimeter players.

Dailey reflected on how meaningful it was to be honored in this way.

"Mostly you think about a lot of different things and that was on the my mind," Dailey said. "My family, the players that I had a role (in their development). I already looked at my phone and there are a lot of texts of everybody from Morgan Valley, Rebecca. It has just been that kind of week with having Diana, Sue and Maya back (for the national-team training camp) and you just think about a lot of things, it is difficult to put into words."

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congratulations to CD on a well deserved honor. I wonder about the timing. Why now. Why not last season. Or the 40-0 season. Or the 78-0 team. Is an announcement coming after the season for one of the coaches? Congratulations again CD. Thanks for raising wonderful young women. :-)

11:23 AM 

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