Why You Shouldn’t Hate on the UConn Women

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Dynasties in basketball have been part of the game since the days of Bill Russell’s Celtics. There are times when certain groups of players exceed under certain coaching staffs. Brady and Belichick. Jordan and Phil. Then Phil and Kobe. KC Jones and just a few of the greatest Celtics players (Bird, Parish and McHale). It’s bound to happen in sports.

In Division 1 college basketball, the University of Connecticut women’s basketball team has cemented itself in sport’s history. The program started off slow, but head coach Geno Auriemma found a recipe for success. Year after year he has recruited players that consistently work well together and are team driven, motivated through team success rather than striving for individual accolades. He has produced championship team after championship team. Eleven to be exact. While we had no problem rooting for the dominance between Larry’s Celtics and Magic’s Lakers, some are bothered by the dominance of these young women, when they have no reason to be.

UConn women’s basketball hasn’t always been dominant. People who are not in favor of their winning ways make it seem as though they have won every women’s division one championship title since the beginning of time. Women’s college basketball in general does not get enough recognition for the talent it displays. Just because these young women aren’t flying high to dunk, doesn’t mean they are any less skilled as basketball players. There are many differences and similarities to how men and women play the game of basketball, but in the end, basketball is basketball. So why is dominance in the men’s game looked at as a part of history and greatness, while in the women’s game it’s “bad”?

Jealously.

Every team wants Coach Auriemma’s secret to winning. What is it? Great coaching. How can you knock someone for simply being really good at their job? He doesn’t care if he’s talking to the number one recruit in the world, or a walk-on from down the street.

I’ve witnessed these women practice and it’s all about repetition of the fundamentals. They practice the basics of basketball over and over and over again, with a little motivation from Coach reminding them that he doesn’t need to play ten players, or even eight to win games. These women aren’t pampered; they take nothing for granted. They know they are fortunate enough to step out onto the court wearing the U-C-O-N-N across their chest. Who wouldn’t work their butt off every practice and every game to be a part of that legacy?

Critics spend too much time talking about how the winning ways of UConn are killing the competition in the sport, and not enough time worrying about themselves. The rest of the NCAA should be working 11 times harder. Why spend time hating on hard work when you can just put in the hard work yourself? Each year every new and returning member of the UConn team works hard to maintain the level of greatness that the program has achieved. One day that greatness could take a step back, because another team decided to step up their own game instead of hate on another. Criticizing these players for being phenomenal at the very objective of the sport is ridiculous.

Dynasties fall when others rise. Until another team decides to put in more hard work and effort than the UConn women, they will continue to win, and brush off the hate.

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Hannah is a Graduate Student, and Graduate Assistant in Athletics here at NEC, working towards her Masters in Sport & Recreation Management. She is a member of NEC's class of 2020 where she earned a BA in Communications, as well as Sport & Recreation Management. She was a member of the women's basketball team, the Sports Editor & Co-Editor-in-Chief of the NewEnglander, a Peer Leader, Student Ambassador, and President of the Class of 2020 during her undergrad. Her hopes are to land a job in the sports industry, either in front office management or as a journalist, after receiving her Masters.
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