Column: Students: Time to step up and support
What is UConn most known for? Basketball. Specifically women's basketball. The UConn women's basketball team is known for its dominance and excellence on the court. This women's program is huge in Connecticut and widely known across the country. However, on campus they seem to be old news. Students flock more to the men's games or tailgates during football season, but when the women play it is rarely ever a sold out student section because we assume they will always win. I find myself sometimes (well most of the time) writing off UConn's opponents, but every game I watch this basketball team never ceases to amaze me.
Breanna Stewart's monster block in the American Athletic Conference semifinal game against Rutgers' Betnija Laney proved once and for all that Stewie could do anything. As Moriah Jefferson lost control of the ball, Laney was able to steal it for a breakaway to the net. It looked like an easy layup for the Rutgers team, but Stewart managed to truck it from half court to catch up to Laney and block the shot. She dove and blocked the layup in a near impossible defensive situation.
As a sophomore, Stewart is already one of the best players UConn has had. She has several milestones under her belt after two seasons, where most players accomplish them in four. She has been recognized numerous times for an array of different awards, including her most recent honor of American Athletic Conference Player of the Year. If she keeps this up and improves more in the next two years, she may become the best player UConn basketball has ever had. It sounds ridiculous considering the team has graduated absolute legends, but Stewie seems to be right on track and even one step ahead of the icons.
Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis has been on and off the bench due to injuries and sickness. She battled mono in a mere three weeks and is back on the court banking 3s as if nothing happened. Most mono cases leave people too tired to move for a month. KML, on the other hand, is playing back-to-back games as if nothing sidelined her in the first place. Since she has been back the junior forward has contributed everything she can for the team.
With the unexpected obstacles this team has had to endure, the two senior players have stepped up to the plate to lead this team to a perfect record thus far. Bria Hartley and Stefanie Dolson have each had spectacular final seasons. Their dominance on the court has yet to waver and their leadership has helped the team shine. These two players came into the program and had big shoes to fill but they never once slipped up. These two players were thrust into a team fresh off a championship win and expected to keep up with players like Maya Moore and Caroline Doty. Dolson and Hartley have maintained the high expectations and led the team above and beyond in their four years at UConn. With Hartley and Stewart on offense and Dolson back on defense this trio is a force to be reckoned with. This team, in general, is a powerhouse. Every player brings something different to the table. When they are all working together and playing their best, they simply do not have competition.
It seems as if UConn students jump on the bandwagon after the Huskies do something incrediwble or win another championship. They show up to the parade and show their pride, but to be completely honest, the old people in the crowd at every regular season game have more dedication than the students do for this team. All of the "Husky pride" is geared toward the other major teams on campus, while this women's team makes me the most proud to be a part of UConn. This team is taken for granted for the talent they posses.
So why do UConn students choose to watch the football team with the worst start in the school's history over women's basketball? I'm not saying that the women's team doesn't have a decent student section but you can see the lack of interest or excitement when the team wins in the regular season. Do people not realize that we have the next Maya Moore or Diana Taurasi on our hands? This women's basketball team is literally making history in front of our eyes and only half of UConn cares. That is absurd to me. This team has been deemed "unbeatable" by basically every opponent they have faced. They are head and shoulders above any competition and although it may lead to some blowout games, why not witness their greatness?
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