Discussion in 'UConn Women's Basketball' started by HuskyNan, Jan 8, 2017.
I moved to Connecticut in 1999 and have been a fan since and remain one even though I am in NC now.
Since Bascom's Final Four.
We went to the St John's game in 2013 and have been following ever since then. I try to get to a few games a year, not this year though, timing has been off. I don't miss a game on TV unless it's out of the viewing area.
I'm exactly where you are on the Huskie love train. I started really paying attention just about the time Rebecca came to UConn. It was obvious to me at that time that the program was moving up (having gotten a #1 prospect) and having made a Final Four appearance in 1991. They just seemed to be getting better and better and were jelling into an amazing team and obviously an amazing program.
Really became a fan of UCONN WB since I read that some girl named Rebecca had committed to play for the Huskies, but I've been a UCONN basketball fan since the winter of '64 when I received my acceptance letter and decided to enroll for the following fall semester. Shortly thereafter an Ed Slomsenski (sp) and Toby Kimball led UCONN team came close to beating a Bill Bradley led Princeton squad in the Eastern Region finals of the NCAA tournament. Ah, the days when regional was really regional. When the 64-65 season began I was in the old fieldhouse to watch the starting 5 of Kimball at center, Dan "Spider" Hesford at forward and 3 sophomores playing their first varsity game, Ron Ritter at forward, and P.J. Curran and Wes Bialosuknia at guards. Guard Tommy Penders was the 6th man. Eventually Penders beat out Curran for the starting position. Curran was an interesting guy. He was in the service for 4 years before enrolling at UCONN. Curran was listed at 6' or 6'-1" but I always thought that was a stretch. In the old two-line layup drill he could get up and dunk just like the taller guys.
Started following in 1994.
I guess it gets down to 'fan' vs. 'fanatic' - I went with 1995, but I didn't become fanatical until 2000.
I'm originally from Vancouver Canada. I lived in Stamford for a two years in 2003-04, when the team hit my radar for the first time (briefly) with the coterminous national championships of 2004. Been living in Boston since, but completed an online master's degree at UConn in 2008. It wasn't until the 2015 NCAA tournament that I realized through media coverage that my alma mater had this unbelievable women's basketball program. The 2015 semi-final on ESPN was the first time I ever saw the Huskies play. Now I'm a rabid fan!
Saw the end of the 1st NC game in 1995 in a downtown Hartford sports bar (it even had several rows of 'arena seats' over to one side of the bar). Walked in, and about 5 minutes later I recall looking at the big screen over the bar and seeing Lobo run around the court with her arms out wide, with a huge grin and big braids. The game was not on my radar at all. Just a completely random event that I even saw the end of it. In Hartford , no less! I had never even been there before and was there on a date (I was in grad school near Boston at the time).
Didn't really follow WCBB after that until I saw the FF in 2002. Tuned in to see Sue Bird & Co. schooling the LV's. That was the moment I first started following the game - watching Sue Bird run the team, watching the 3-headed monster of Cash/Jones/Williams demolish the opposition inside and seeing an uber-talented shooting guard do her thing. Followed WCBB with one eye for a few years after that, enough to keep track of the DT-led championships and the dry spell shortly thereafter.
Only started watching as a true fan during the FF in 2008, to see UCONN go down to CWiggins and the Stanford Cardinal. Wiggs was very quick, and gave Maya fits (not a great matchup, plus I know Maya was not 100%). Followed the Huskies on a regular basis since fall of 2008 , Maya's sophomore year.
I missed her heroics at DePaul, freshman year! (but have since seen the replay many times)
Edit: I also recall seeing Jen Rizzotti (her hair was memorable) and being impressed by her fire and grit. I did steal a few glances at the game before realizing it was the NC and then seeing Lobo run around at the buzzer.
Think it was 92-93. Picked the boys up first, but one of my kids went to UConn starting in '91 and I started paying attention to a broader range of sports and, what do you know, there they were playing real basketball.
My parents were fans of the UConn men's and women's teams since the early 90s...since Geno's first season was my first season on Earth it was harder for me to be a grassroots follower; I became an actual fan in 1995 with the rise to national prominence, since we could watch every game on cptv
Late 80s when Ferrier and Lishness left Bristol to go to UCONN. I saw them in HS as I followed a Platt HS playoff run (they beat Tracy Lis' Killingly team).
►It was 1995. I was previously just a UConn men's team fan.
►More specifically, it was the NC game. First women's game I ever watched.
►More specifically yet, it was Jen Rizzotti's drive. Perfect change of direction, split two defenders.
That was the moment. I thought, "Hey, that's as good as the men could do."
Twenty years later, that sounds condescending.
And maybe I'm still condescending. Just not about the UConn women.
I've always kept track of local New York area WCB (high school also) since I was a kid playing street ball but 1995 and Rebecca Lobo got me hooked on UConn. My daughter playing basketball at the time just reinforced my interest.
I have to share, reading your stories (and UConn has a role in mine) - consider me a fan of Women's Basketball (Rutgers was just the local, able to go in person, alma mater situation):
- I discovered a couple of "late night" reruns of Rutgers games in about '93 or so, enough to peak my interest in the game.
- The first "real" game I watched on non-local TV was the NCAA championship featuring "the shot" when UNC won.
- I totally admired the UConn team that won with Lobo, Sales, Rizzotti, etc. If I lived closer, I'm sure I would have become a UConn fan.
- For Christmas, my wife had bought me a ticket for the (Rutgers) - GW game - and they were court-side seats. Hooked, went to several additional home games and the A-10 tourney.
- Bought season tix for RU the next year (CVS and BE's 1st) and hooked.
My point is that I see so many folks with similar experiences - seeing the game either in person or on TV "hooked" them. Too bad more folks don't give it a try.
I refereed games in the Hugh Greer field house for Coach Sandra Hamm in 1975 when I moved to CT and for Wanda Flora from 1975 to 1981 and one year for Jean Balthaser in 1982. Those were all AIAW games and the NCAA took over womens sports in 1982 and there were TWO FINAL FOURS in spring of 1983 and Tennessee won the NCAA and La Tech won the AIAW. The AIAW went out of business in 1983 after a year long law suit with the NCAA. The AIAW had tried for years to get the NCAA to take over womens sports but the answer was allways NO !! Until title IX passed and then the NCAA saw $$$$$$$ signs and went for the 4 big womens sports. My knees and hips wore out about then so I quit Refereeing. Pat Summitt was a big supporter of the AIAW and I served on some comittees with her in the 70's. Southern Ct State went to a final four in the late 60's or early 70's when I started refeering. I started going to UCONN games as a fan in 1985 and have been going ever since. Went to FF in 1981 in New Orleans and been to 9 since then. Going to Dallas in 2017 and then to Tampa Bay in 2018. Have HC season tickets. BN
1995. Middle daughter wanted to learn basketball and my wife suggested we watch UCONN women play. I told my wife I would only watch women if she also watched the game. The women hates sports on television. Soon all three of us were watching on a regular basis and my wife's only Christmas present since is that I buy two season tickets to their home games. She also has bought into traveling with the team, travelled to a lot of the Big East arenas and Florida for the Thanksgiving Tournament two three years ago. Last year we started traveling to AAC arenas. Went to SMU and Tulsa last year and are going to Temple and South Florida this year. We have not missed a game in the last 15 years in person or on television.
One thing I keep forgetting to add: not only did I move into a WBB bounty at the right time, but I've also been able to experience two NCs and three F4s on the men's side! Maya and Stewie, Kemba and Shabazz...I mean, how lucky have I been???
Moved to CT in 1985 and soon started following the men. Got interested in WBB in the 1994-95 season, went to the January TN game, and was hooked for life. I was just getting back form a trip to China during the NC game. Driving to CT from JFK, the closer I got, the better the reception got on WTIC. Heard the stars being sat down for most of the 2nd quarter, and Nykesha basically keeping it even during their absence on the bench in the first half. I started to drive slower just so I'd have time to hear the whole game - the win was such a thrill!!
Even though I live in St. Louis I've been a Uconn fan since 2002. I prefer the women's game to the men's game. The women's team here is just beginning to get some national recognition and if Napheesa Collier and Felicia Sutton had stayed home, the Billikens would be a team destined to at least qualify for the NCAA Tournament. Not much attention is paid to the women's team here.
Totally ignorant about women's basketball until 1997 (not sure where I was during the Atlanta games - probably in grad school or stage managing (and no cable). A friend dragged me to the Garden in '97 and paid for my ticket to the NY Liberty. I feel good and hard. Couple of years of wondering "where do these folks come from?" got me a writing gig - first an unpaid column, then paid articles for Women's Basketball Magazine.
First piece I wrote for them was on Shea Ralph. Didn't want to be an uniformed idiot, so I researched the hell out of her - which led me to the Boneyard. Then I realized I could get CPTV in Queens via my rabbit ears. Returning home at night was agony, hoping I'd gotten just the right angle and tinfoil combo. I can't tell you how many snowy transmissions I watched. Life was so amazing when CPTV started streaming!
As soon as I was old enough to follow it, which happened to be around 93-94. I definitely have a program (and an autograph by Geno!) from that year.
I forgot about your health issues Alex. I hope you're doing ok and if not I pray things turn around soon!
I live (and lived then) in Coventry, about 5 miles from the campus. In the late 80's I was doing a lot of work in my basement, woodworking, hobbies and other projects. To pass the time I wanted to listen to the radio and I had one that worked ok upstairs, but the reception was not very good. In the cellar there was nothing. Except 1 FM station, WHUS. I didn't even know what it was when I first found it, but it had music and some interesting programs and it was the only game in town anyway, so I listened. And then I started hearing these silly sports broadcasts, UCONN women's basketball. I've always been a UCONN fan, but women's basketball?
I listened anyway, just because it was on and started to realize, "These guys are pretty good!" The only way I had of deciding that was the pro-UCONN announcers of the games and the fact that they seemed to be winning a lot. And I kind of got hooked.
But at the time I was running a photo processing business in Manchester, and one day a tall slim woman walked in with a slide she wanted made into a 20 x 24 (I think) print. When I looked at it I saw that it was a woman in a UCONN uniform playing basketball, shooting or rebounding or some such. And of course I realized it was one of the players whose games I'd been listening to, and so I asked a few questions. And got quite a lot of answers from the very enthusiastic woman. The player, I learned, was someone named Kerry Bascom, and I was told that she was the star of the team and how well the team was doing with her. I already knew they won more than they lost, but now I had some perspective on it and I started listening a little closer.
I did what I could to make the print, and never had any idea who my customer was. I didn't find out until CPTV started broadcasting the games. She was sitting or standing right next to the young looking head coach, Geno. Of course it was CD.
You're my new hero.
It was 1995. I'd heard about the team's recent success and started paying attention. As a newly-divorced dad, I was constantly looking at things to do with my daughter, and the women's games were just the ticket. Speaking of ticket, you could hardly get tickets anywhere, but whenever I could, we did. I'd moved to Massachusetts by then and remember a game against BC where (I think it was) Lobo gave a demo for kids who wanted to upgrade their skills. Things like dribbling two balls at once.....
We went to Storrs for lots of games, Hartford for a few, Providence a couple of times and once to Kingston, RI for the first round of the NCAAs one year. Other, more distant trips as well, but that was the start. My daughter, who is now 33 with kids of her own, says he really never got into basketball that much, but loved the adventures with her father that each trip entailed. Meanwhile, I became completely addicted and am now married to a woman who is not as much of a fanatic, but is willing to be my trusty sidekick.
Anyway, start to finish, it's been a great ride, and it continues.
Since Kerry Bascom (87-91). The first great Lady Husky. I've been a men's fan since maybe 1981.
Just a couple of corrections. The year there was / were 2 tournaments was in the spring of 1982. Rutgers - with Chris Daily on the team - won the AIAW championship, defeating Texas in the championship game (only Texas, Rutgers and Villanova (who hosted) were considered top teams in the AIAW affair). La Tech won the NCAA championship. Tennessee did not win a national Championship till 1987 (87/89/91/96/97/98/07/08).
Separate names with a comma.