Geno Auriemma, assistant coaches Shea Ralph, Chris Dailey Marissa Moseley and team video coordinator Keith Anderson will receive rings in pregame ceremonies tonight commemorating the Olympic gold medal won by USA Basketball in London last summer.
“I didn’t even know this was a part of the deal until very recently,” Auriemma said. “It will be nice for everyone, especially Chris, Shea, Marisa and Keith. It’s a great moment for them because no one knows about the contributions they made in the background. Everything USA Basketball does is first class.”
Carol Callan of USA Basketball will preside over the ceremony that also will include recognition of Breanna Stewart, Moriah Jefferson and Morgan Tuck for the championship they helped win last summer for the U-18 team and Bria Hartley, for playing on the world championship 3 x 3 team.
“But I don’t think I’ll wear the ring,” Auriemma said. “When we won the World Championship in 2012, I thought it would be cool to wear it to some functions so people could see it. It’s a great ring, the prettiest one I’ve ever received, very impressive.
“But [wearing it] lasted about two weeks. As soon as someone shakes your hand, your finger starts to bleed from the ring digging into it because its so big and so clunky. You can get scars from [the experience].”
Every so often, I check in with Geno to see if he’s changed his mind about serving another term as national coach. USA Basketball will soon need to begin preparing for the 2014 World Championship and there is no coach yet.
Geno has steadfastly said he’s not interested, even though he’s aware USA Basketball still may be in him.
“Why would I not be done [with USA Basketball]” Auriemma reiterated. “It’s not what they want, it’s what I want. I don’t anticipate Carol will come here and ask me [if he wants to coach]. Nope, she’s not going to do that. I don’t have to worry about it. That’s it.”
UConn also plans to honor Kelly Faris and Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis before the game for scoring their 1,000th career points Saturday against Seton Hall.