It’s been an emotional ride for the Shabazz Napier, Niles Giffey and Tyler Olander, three of the five players honored on Senior Night at Gampel Pavilion Wednesday night. For those three their career began with head coach Jim Calhoun and they experienced the joy of winning a National Championship together…
…they also experienced the heartache of their Hall of Fame coach retiring midway through their careers. Then there was the NCAA banning them from playing in post season play for a year which, on top of losing Calhoun, caused some players to transfer to other schools because of the uncertainty of the program. These three core players hung together because they knew it was more than about individual accomplishments, it was about family, it was about team. Wednesday they celebrated with graduate student Lasan Kromah and walk-on Tor Watts with a 69-63 victory over Rutgers.
Jeff Jacobs wrote about the support Napier received from his mom. ”He had to stay, he had to,” Carmen Velasquez said. “If you start something, you have to finish. You just don’t up and leave because things aren’t going right. You stay and you finish. I taught my kids never to bail out, never to give up on anything.” For the rest of his story click here:
Dom Amore wrote about the confidence that head coach Kevin Ollie has in his players heading into the postseason. The postgame ceremonies were over but the emotional ride had not reached its conclusion. Kevin Ollie took the microphone and let 10,000 of his closest friends in on a little secret. “I’m planning to come back here in April and raise a banner,” he said. For the rest of his story click here:
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