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GENO & UCONN : The LURE beyond the Titles – Part 2

Geno Auriemma and UConn Women’s basketball are once again on top of  the Mountain. Coming off another National Championship  ( the program’s 9th under Geno ) AND another UNdefeated season ( the program’s 5th )  it certainly would be understandable for Elite girls basketball recruits to want to be a part of such a prestigious tradition and consistent opportunities to a Win  National Title.  But, what about the humanistic side of this legendary leader and the women behind him…beyond chasing championships, what is the LURE to want to join Geno and be a Husky.

I recently had the opportunity to interview 3 young ladies ( Napheesa CollierKatie Lou Samuelson  & De’ Janae Boykin) who are each considered among the Top 10 players in the 2015 class, and who each have already made a verbal commitment to be a Husky. I inquired with them and their parent(s) as to what what they learned about the Geno and his Girls…

In Part 2 you will hear from  Katie Lou Samuelson, a 6’3″ Forward from Huntington Beach, CA and her parents Jon (Father ) & Karen (Mother ).




             Q :     What do you remember about your first call / conversation with Geno  ?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

Katie Lou :   The biggest thing I remember is just being super nervous to talk to him and I actually didn’t talk to much cause I was so shy and worried about saying something wrong.

             Parents:  Our first conversation was about 5 years ago when I took my daughters Bonnie and Karlie on an unofficial visit where we watched a practice and we were very impressed with him and his whole program.



Q :    What about his personality & the person he is has surprised you now that you have gotten to know him ?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

                     Katie Lou :  The best thing about Coach Auriemma is how straight forward and to the point he is while also having a great sense of humor that I can relate to.

        Parents:       He’s very straight forward and genuine and he knows what he’s doing.



Q :   What about Geno the person… is the reason you want to play for him  ?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
Katie Lou :   I want to play for him because I know he can make me the best player I can possibly be and help me reach my goals. I have had a long relationship with him recruiting all three of my sisters and he has always been straight forward with my family.
What about Geno the person… is the reason you want your daughter to play for him  ?                                                                                                                                                                                     

            Parents:    He knows what he is doing and he makes his players better.



Q :   What is your impression of each of the Assistant Coaches  ?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
Katie Lou :   All of the assistant coaches are great and I enjoyed getting to know them during my recruiting process and cannot wait to get to know them more.

            Parents:       They’re great people and very approachable and they all play an important part in the program to help the players.



Q :   What impression did you have of UCONN players  before you ( your daughter for parent ) were recruited by the program ?     and now what sticks out to you about them, since you have gotten to be around them  ?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  
Katie Lou :    I only really knew Kaleena I know how great of a player and hard worker she is and as I got to know the team they are all such great athletes and even better people.
Parents: We’ve been very impressed with all the Uconn players and we think “Lou”  will be able to fit in as part of the UConn family.


Q :  Was there a common theme(s) or statement  did the girls on team convey to you about playing for Geno  ?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      
Katie Lou :   It’s always gonna be intense but in the end it will be rewarding.

            Parents: It’s intense in the gym, but off the court they seem to get along with them and he really cares about his players.



Q :  Having had up close & personal exposure to the program… is there something about the environment or how they do things that you think would surprise people  ?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              
Katie Lou :   There’s such a competitive environment every practice that attracted me to the program and made me want to be a part of it.


Q :  Thinking back to the home visit… what impressed you most about how the Staff who was there handled it ?     was there something funny or unique that happened  ?  
Katie Lou :   I didn’t end up doing any home visits
Q :  At what point in your recruiting process did you realize that you would rather join a program full of players just as good as you AND where you wouldn’t be given “star treatment” on or off the court…as opposed to going to a place where you could have been  ?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
Katie Lou :   I picked the school that I thought would be the best fit for me to improve my game and the school that I felt most comfortable with.
Q :  What about the campus and/or University did you come to appreciate most (not basketball related )   ?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        
Katie Lou :   I loved the size of the campus and look forward to experience snow for the first time.
Q :   What was the final thing / experience that convinced you , that UCONN was where you wanted to be  ?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          
Katie Lou :   It was just how comfortable I felt at the school and with the players and coaches.



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