A special visitor was in the house for Game 3 of the WNBA semifinals between the Connecticut Sun and New York Liberty.
Geno Auriemma, longtime coach of the UConn Huskies, sat courtside for the Liberty’s victory, alongside his wife, Kathy, UConn associate head coach Chris Dailey and former Huskies star Jennifer Rizzotti, now the president of the Sun.
With former players on both teams, Auriemma had a vested interest in the affair.
It’s a @UConnWBB x #WNBA family affair 🧡Uconn came to show love to former Huskies on the @ConnecticutSun and @nyliberty that are competing in the Semis of the #WNBAPlayoffs presented by @Google pic.twitter.com/TqLeCwH9MG— WNBA (@WNBA) September 30, 2023
It’s a @UConnWBB x #WNBA family affair 🧡Uconn came to show love to former Huskies on the @ConnecticutSun and @nyliberty that are competing in the Semis of the #WNBAPlayoffs presented by @Google pic.twitter.com/TqLeCwH9MG
“It’s always great seeing them, especially when they come out and they come support,” Sun center Olivia Nelson-Ododa, a former Husky, told CT Insider after the game. “I just love seeing them, the team, everybody. And it’s special to me too for them to all show up like that and be able to watch me, especially at this level now too.”
Nelson-Ododa and Tiffany Hayes are the former UConn players on Connecticut, with Breanna Stewart and Stefanie Dolson representing Auriemma’s program for New York. Morgan Tuck, the Sun’s director of franchise development, is also a former Huskie.
Auriemma watched as the Liberty rolled to a 92-81 victory thanks in part to outsourcing the Sun by 21 points in the first quarter. At one point, Nelson-Ododa got into a yelling match with teammate DiJonai Carrington that was separated by DeWanna Bonner.
The 2023-24 UConn team was also in attendance, including star guard Paige Bueckers, but sat further away in the sold out arena. After the game, Auriemma met Stewart’s two-year-old daughter, Ruby.