News of Camara's transfer to UConn was "best day ever" for Espinoza-Hunter
Espinoza-Hunter, who has been coming to UConn games since former high school teammate Saniya Chong was being recruited by the Huskies, could barely contain her enthusiasm when she found out that former teammate Batouly Camara would be transferring to UConn.
"I am super excited," Espinoza-Hunter said on Friday shortly after the morning session on the second day of the USA Basketball U-17 team trials wrapped up. "When I first received the news that Batouly was going to visit Connecticut, I was extremely excited. Just the fact that I will be able to have three more years to be able to play with her really means a lot. Batouly, I don't consider her my sister, I consider her a mentor. She has really helped me a lot especially during my freshman and sophomore year. Even now despite us not being together, she is still able to help me a lot. Having another three years with her, she will help me grow as a player on the court but also as a person, she has taught me so much on and off the court. I really look forward to being able to play with her again."
Espinoza-Hunter gave Camara some space when she was deciding where she would land after deciding to transfer out of Kentucky.
"I had a sense (it could be UConn)," Espinoza-Hunter said. "I was getting vibes that 'hey, your little sister Andi is going to UConn and you are looking at UConn so you might as well come, we can be together again.' When I heard she was taking officials to Penn State and UConn it was kind of a nailbiter, I didn't know which way she was going to go. When I received the news, it was the best day ever."
While they played together for a couple of years at Blair Academy, their relationship goes back even further.
"I have known Batouly since I was in fifth or sixth grade," Espinoza-Hunter said. "She is obviously older than me so she will be able to help. I have always looked up to her and to this day I still do. The relationship we have is so strong, we know each other so well, we know our strengths and our weaknesses and our communication we have I enjoy a lot. The communication I have with her, I feel like I don't have with other people that I have relationships with."
So what does Espinoza-Hunter think Camara will bring to the Huskies when she is eligible to play during the 2017-18 season?
"Batouly is a very tough young woman," Espinoza-Hunter said. "Her touch around the rim, her enthusiasm and the energy she brings to the game will really help at Connecticut either on defense grabbing the boards, guarding the best post player on offene, finishing around the rim. Just the little things that Batouly has, not only offensive aspects of her game but everything about her game I enjoy and I know she will do great things at Connecticut."