The UConn Women Tell Stories About Numbers

by Categorized: Big East women's basketball, UConn women's basketball Date:

What’s in a number? Well, apparently it depends on what number it is and how attached a player has become to it during their careers.

For instance, when Renee Montgomery played for the UConn women she wore No. 20 and then put it on her back again when the WNBA’s Minnesota Lynx drafted her.

But when Montgomery came to play for the Connecticut Sun, Kara Lawson, who had more senority in the league, wore 20 and didn’t want to give it up. So Montgomery reluctantly had to settle for No. 21.

Or what of Maya Moore, No. 32 in high school? When she arrived at UConn, the number belonged to Kalana Greene, who wasn’t going to give it up. So Maya took 23 – and that seemed to work out OK.

Here is the story behind some of the numbers on the backs of the 2012-13 Huskies and its staff.

31 – Stefanie Dolson

“It’s just the number I had my whole life, since my first day of AAU. It was given to me. It didn’t have any special meaning to me. As I move on with my career, I will be happy to wear it, if I can get it. But it’s just a jersey number. I am not superstitious about it. If Tina Charles [who wore it before Dolson] had said she didn’t want me to wear it, I would have been OK with it. She wore that number well, did great things with it. But it’s just a jersey and what’s meant to be will work out perfectly. At least, that’s what my sister says.”

34 – Kelly Faris

“Some of my siblings wore it. So when I was younger, I just decided that I wanted to wear the same number as they did. It would have felt weird to have to wear another number. If the number was taken by someone else [at UConn], I would just wear a different number, as I will if continue my career. I’d like to have it, but I don’t care.”

14 – Bria Hartley

“I’ve worn 14 for a long time. And I’ve worn the number because of Danny Green of the San Antonio Spurs, who grew up around the corner from me. I watched him play, I’ve followed his career and his dad was my one of my early coaches, who I looked up to. The number meant a lot to me then and it still does. I would always want to wear No. 14, if I can.”

5 – Caroline Doty

“I was No. 15 when I was 10 years old. But one day one of my travel coaches asked me to pick out number I really liked because he believed it would almost be a part of my identity as I grew up. So No. 5 fell into my lap and it’s been with me ever since. If I couldn’t have gotten 5 when I came to UConn? I would have gone somewhere else [she joked]. I probably would have taken 15 or 23, something that had a combination of 5 or 5 in it. I don’t know why. Comfort, I guess. I was just lucky enough that 5 has been there wherever I went.”

4 – Moriah Jefferson

“I haven’t worn 4 my whole life. There was a time when I was 32, which my sister wore. I began my career wearing 32, but when I began playing in the Home School League [in Texas] one of the upper classmen had it, so I went back to No. 4. When that player left, I took No. 32 back. Then one day my dad took my jersey to the Laundromat and melted it. So I went back to No. 4. So when I came here, I didn’t want 32. I thought No. 4 was the one for me.”

3 – Morgan Tuck

“I wore 44 in high school, but now I am wearing No. 3 because that’s the number my sister, Taylor, wears at Illinois [she’s a sophomore].  Diana Taurasi and Tiffany Hayes wore it [at UConn] and both represented it very well. That will help me work hard. I do not want to be the No. 3 people remember as not being very good. I want to honor the players in the past who have worn it.”

33 – Shea Ralph:

“I wore 30 in junior high, but then 33 was the only number in high school that seemed to fit. That was fine with me. Soon people began to say that I looked like Larry Bird, which I didn’t think was too cool, although I liked the way he played. I eventually became attached to it, although I wouldn’t consider myself a superstitious person. It just became mine and I wanted it in college. If 33 wasn’t available, I would have taken another. But I would have fought for it first.”

30 – Breanna Stewart

“Once I started playing high school basketball, 30 was the number that was given and I just stuck with it. I’m not particularly superstitious about it, but if I can get the number, I would be happy. But if I couldn’t, I don’t think it I would be upset. If I couldn’t get it, it would be different wearing something else, but that’s about it.”

23 – Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis

“Wwhen I first started to play, I wore 54, or something like that. But I wore 23 at Mater Dei [high school].  If I wasn’t able to wear it at UConn, it wouldn’t have been a big deal. It was a new chapter for me, and if could have my number it would have been great, but if not, I was OK with that, too. I probably would have asked for 33, since my mom’s number was 3.”

32- Heather Buck

“I’d always worn No. 32 in high school and AAU because of much I admired the way Swin Cash [the former UConn All-American] played. She was my favorite. But when I came to play at UConn [in 2008], Kalana Greene was wearing it. And Maya Moore was wearing 23, which would have been my logical second choice. But my best friend growing up was Meredith Ward [who played at Holy Cross] and she wore 21 in high school and AAU. So I picked that – until Kalana left and I then took it [32] back.”

41 – Kiah Stokes

“I’ve worn 41 from lthe third grade in honor of my father [Greg Stokes] who wore the number when he played [at the University of Iowa]. I decided I wanted to be just like him. And I’ve had it ever since. If I couldn’t have gotten it [at UConn] it would have been a little weird for me since I’ve sort of grown into it. Now I wear it for myself. It’s like a part of me. I would feel a little different without it. But I’d probably get over it, eventually.”

13 – Brianna Banks

“I started off with No. 10 and didn’t like it very much, but that’s when I first started playing in AAU. I wore No. 2 in high school. But I wanted to wear it [13] here. If someone had it, I wouldn’t fuss about it; I would have been upset, but I have my backup numbers. And I am not the least bit superstitious, as you might imagine. I don’t believe in those things. “

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4 thoughts on “The UConn Women Tell Stories About Numbers

  1. fishpaw31

    John,
    Thank you for this article…it’s just the type of background info I like to read about! Do it every year with the freshmen class!
    Thanks again.

  2. Genosguy

    Nice fluff John. What we’ve learned from this is UConn women are nice people. It’s the only kind Christine and Geno recruit.

    With the new load of Freshmen Geno needs to work on the UConn Achilles Heel of not handling the press well. UConn lost 3 maybe 5 games because they didn’t handle the press well, especially the Freshmen. Freshmen don’t get the pressure thrown at the like Rutgers does it or ND or St John’s did it last year. KML in the first ND game wasn’t ready for it (no freshman ever is). UConn now has the talent, now teach them how to handle the press and pressure defense.

  3. Wiltonian

    Kalana Greene was wearing #23, and when she arrived at UConn, Wilnette Crockett already had #23, so Ms. Greene took #32 instead; and when #32 Maya Moore arrived, Wilnette had left, but Ms. Greene had settle for #32 and didn’t want to move back to #23, so #32 Maya took #23 instead.

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