More than a year after the death of Kobe and Gianna Bryant, the No. 3 ranked UConn women’s basketball team is still paying tribute to one of its biggest fans.
The Huskies took the court in a new set of warm-up shirts on Thursday, featuring some motivational words from Gianna: “When you think you can’t, UConn.”
That quote comes from a letter the team posted via Instagram on Tuesday, which the team said was sent following its loss in the 2017 Final Four. Gianna, then 10 years old, urged the team to keep practicing.
UConn and the Bryant family held close ties, even though Gianna was too young to attend the school. She was a dedicated fan of the program who was “hellbent” on suiting up for the team one day, and her father was friend with UConn head coach Geno Auriemma. The two attended UConn games together, and were honored by the team after their death.
UConn said Gianna was “forever a Husky,” and they’re still carrying her words a year later. They’ll need the words of encouragement going forward after their first loss of the season, 90-87, to No. 19 Arkansas on Thursday night. The matchup was a late add to the schedule after both teams had an opening to fill.
Razorbacks senior Chelsea Dungee scored 37 points, the most a single player has had against UConn since the 1999-2000 season. The 90 points against UConn is the fourth-most against the program in regulation since 1995.
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