Idol Chatter


Pierre-Yves Beaudouin

Women have made incredible achievements in sports over the decades, but one group of women is reaffirming the belief that females can be incredible athletes. Through the rough patches, these girls persevered, worked hard, and stayed dedicated to the team. They didn’t lose their focus and pushed through to make the UConn Women’s Basketball team one to be reckoned with.

Seniors Kia Nurse and Gabby Williams both have proven to be an all-star athletes for the team. Nurse is in the top 10 on UConn’s career charts in games started and Williams is in the top 10 in rebounds and steals figure to be among the list of their accomplishments. Statistics, while impressive, only scratch the surface of what the women have really contributed to the program.

The duo has helped UConn set NCAA Division I women’s basketball records for longest overall winning streak, longest regular-season streak and most consecutive true road wins with a relentless style of play at both ends of the court. They’ve also done the work off the court as Nurse is a three-time CoSIDA Academic All-District selection and Williams a finalist for the Senior CLASS Award recognizing excellence on the court, in the classroom and in the community.

The pair has also been an inspiration for the girls below them.

“We have been on this journey together, they are the ones who really help you because the class above you, it is fresh in their mind,” UConn junior forward Napheesa Collier said. “When we were freshmen, they had just gone through that, they talk to us about how to get through the best way and they have been people we have looked up to.

The Huskies won their fifth consecutive AAC championship Tuesday with a 70-54 victory over South Florida at Mohegan Sun Arena. They will head into the NCAA Tournament with a perfect record for the ninth time, with championships in six of those previous eight seasons. UConn is 140-1 in games Williams has played, so there is a chance she could tie former UConn All-Americans Moriah Jefferson and Maya Moore for the Division I women’s record of 150 victories by a player. The task of being a class to carry on the Huskies’ winning ways following the graduation of All-Americans Jefferson, Breanna Stewart and Morgan Tuck could be their legacy. They could become just the fourth class in UConn and NCAA Division I women’s basketball history to win 150 games.

“It is not just you having a good year, it is you not letting down the 30 years before,” said Williams. “You never want to be that team where that tradition ends, that reign, the empire kind of falls so that is kind of what is on our shoulders.”

The team is taking their success with humility, and understand that they have to continue to work hard to get their desired results. So how do the Huskies continue to have such extended success? Head Coach Geno Auriemma highlighted two key aspects: Putting in extra work and playing selfless basketball. Many coaches will say that but few can extract it from players, and none are doing it with great players like Auriemma and his staff.

“If you just want to be average do average work. If you want to be a little bit above average you do a little more work,” he said. “If you want to get A’s in basketball then you have to do stuff other people aren’t willing to do, especially if you have the talent like we do.”

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