In doing a little research about the teams the Lady Huskies will be facing on their trip to Italy, I came across this on the Gescom-Viterbo website (Click here to see). You have to click on the page, you read the special one. It is kind of difficult to read. The page was translated from Italian to English so the full translation isn’t there. Basically what it says is this Sue Bird and Diana Taurasi will be making one more appearance in an UCONN uniform. I have not seen this announced in the papers anywhere in Connecticut so I guess you can say you heard it hear first at Random Thoughts.
Bird and Taurasi will be playing for the Huskies on Thursday night as they face Gescom-Viterbo. Gescom-Viterbo features Steffanie Blackmon of the WNBA’s Chicago Sky. Gescom-Viterbo is 5-2 in the Italia Seria A League. It is not known yet whether or not, the two will make an appearance for the Lady Huskies as they face Phard Napoli on Tuesday night, who is 7-0 in Italia Seria A League and also features two WNBA players, Kedra Holland-Corn of the Detroit Shock and the Houston Comets’ Aston N’Diaye.
Since this is an exhibition game overseas, I would have to think that Geno Auriemma has cleared this with the NCAA. The question you may ask is is Bird and Taurasi playing for the Huskies a good thing. Well the answer is, you bet it is. The young players can benefit from the experience that they provide. Imagine if you will this lineup. Sue Bird, Diana Taurasi, Meghan Gardler, Tina Charles and Kristin Phillips. Two former greats with three freshman playing together not in a practice but in a real game. Those three can only get better from that experience. Also, UCONN’s star point guard, Renee Montgomery can learn a great deal from playing in the backcourt with Sue Bird.
When I first saw this I had my doubts about it. At first, I thought this might wreck the continuity the Huskies have achieved so far this season thru their first two games. But as my thoughts have continued as I stated in the previous paragraph, the experience and leadership that Diana and Sue bring to the court will only be beneficial to the young Huskies. Remember one thing, UCONN has no seniors this year. In years past, UCONN has had that senior leadership. This year the Huskies junior class, Mel Thomas, Brittany Hunter, Ketia Swanier, and Charde Houston are supposed to lead the Huskies. So one game playing with Diana and Sue will not hurt them but rather help them as they work towards UCONN’s sixth National Championship.