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An afternoon of joy and smiles at the UConn victory parade

The Huskies celebrate in Hartford with the NCAA trophy.

The Huskies celebrate in Hartford with the NCAA trophy.

HARTFORD, April 14 – Perhaps, the fans in Connecticut are getting spoiled.

A few thousand fans came to Hartford on a cool Sunday afternoon to celebrate with the University of Connecticut women’s basketball team after the Huskies won their eighth NCAA national title earlier this week with a win over Louisville.

The attendance wasn’t as high as other previous championship parades for the UConn men or the UConn women. But to the fans that drove to Hartford to see the Huskies in person, that wasn’t the point.

They could have sat at home on their couch and watched it on TV. But this was their opportunity to cheer the Huskies for one last time this season, cheer and dance again with the UConn pep band, thank the Huskies and show their support and love for them.

UConn coach Geno Auriemma praised the fans at the rally at the state capitol for their dedication, too. “I get paid to do this…what I don’t understand is, you guys do this for the hell of it. It is unbelievable,” he said with a grin.

While rally host Bob Joyce of WTIC-AM talked about future championships, Auriemma wasn’t interesting in making any predictions about the future and told the crowd to enjoy this win for a while.

But before he stepped down from the podium, Auriemma hinted about the future. “We are going to start laying out the ground work for what we have to do in May,” he said. “So that in 12 months, we can be standing in front of you again.”

And the crowd cheered just as loud as they did when Joyce discussed UConn’s comeback win over Notre Dame in the NCAA semifinals.

It was an afternoon of joy and smiles. Click on the following link for photos from the parade posted on our Facebook page.

There was plenty of smiles in Hartford during the UConn victory parade.

There was plenty of smiles in Hartford during the UConn victory parade.


Gerry deSimas, Jr., is the editor and founder of The Collinsville Press. He is an award-winning writer and has been covering sports in Connecticut and New England for more than 40 years. He was inducted into the New England High School Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2018.

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