Blogs > Elm City to Eagleville

A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

UConn's Auriemma meets with President Obama one last time

There often tends to be some anxious moments when championship sports teams meet with President Barack Obama. However, with this being the sixth time that Geno Auriemma has brought one of his national championship UConn teams to visit with President Obama, there were so such apprehensive moments.

Case in point are Auriemma's opening remarks after President Obama spoke for about seven minutes.

"(UConn came down in) 2009, came back and all enjoyed it and we came back," Auriemma said. "I remember saying to President Obama 'you know your fourth year is coming up and I don't know what the future holds. I know we are going to be back.' He said 'so am I.' Taking that, I was hoping the rest of the NCAA years after four years of Stewie, Moriah and (Morgan), we could have a vote and see if we have him for another four years. Unfortunately it doesn't work that way. We've been fortunate to have Tuck. Moriah and Stewie for four years, Briana (Pulido) joined us and they have done something that is pretty incredible in a sense that every other player who goes to college for the rest of the time that they play basketball can never beat, can never top what they have done. Somebody can tie them, somebody can do exactly what they've done but they go to bed at night knowing that nobody in the history of basketball has ever done what they have done and nobody will be able to do more than they've done and that is something we are really proud of.

"The trips down here are memorable because we know the President is a tremendous basketball fan, he keeps on top of things, he picks us every year in the NCAA tournament," Auriemma said. President Obama deadpanned  "clairvoyant"

"What I am going to miss the most. I don't know if you've ever gotten a phone call from the President but my phone rings and there are just lines and it says unknown call and I said I am not answering this, I don't know who it is. The next day 'unknown call' and I put it away. The third day it said 'you better answer this.' I picked it up and he is on the phone. I am going to miss the relationship, I am going to miss coming down here, I am going to miss his support that we have but if you have been paying attention to what is going on in the media these last six or seven months, as time goes by we are probably going to miss him more than he misses us."

UConn presented President Obama with a jersey with the No. 11 representing the 11 national championships and his response was "I am a little bigger than this, this is Moriah's size."

There was also a basketball presented to him and a rocking chair (although it was not brought out for the actual on-camera ceremony).

"Coach brought me a rocking chair," President Obama said. "I am not taking this as an insult, I am assuming it was meant with love but Coach, I do want you to know I am not going out to pasture here in fact I may even be able to come to one of your games live so don't think you've gotten rid of me that easily."


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