Coach: Driven, determined describe Dangerfield

By Carl Adamec

Crystal Dangerfield has the ability to fill the scoring column in the box score. But the 5-foot-5 junior point guard at Blackman High in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, is more about collecting championships than points.

It’s the reason Blackman won the Class 3A state title a season ago and the reason Dangerfield — who announced her oral commitment to attend the University of Connecticut on Sunday — was named the 2014 Tennessee Gatorade Player of the Year.
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Dangerfield commits to UConn

By Carl Adamec

Crystal Dangerfield said five months ago at the United States U-17 team trials that her plan was to announce her college decision on her birthday next May.

Instead it was the University of Connecticut women’s basketball team that got an early present.

Dangerfield, a 5-foot-5 junior point guard from Murfreesboro, Tennessee, made an oral commitment to attend UConn during an unofficial visit to Storrs this weekend that included taking in the Huskies’ annual First Night program. She is the first player from the Class of 2016 to announce for UConn.
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Tuck able to put focus back on basketball

By Carl Adamec

STORRS, Conn. — Geno Auriemma sat in his Gampel Pavilion office on a mid-January afternoon with a look of concern on his face.

Sophomore Morgan Tuck had met with her family and informed the University of Connecticut women’s basketball coach they had decided she would have season-ending surgery on her right knee. The timing would allow her to apply for a medical hardship waiver to maintain three years of eligibility.

But her loss would put the Huskies at nine active scholarship players and down a post player. What if something else went wrong? UConn had already established itself as the best team in the country but would it have enough to finish the job?
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Champions Center named after Werth Family

UConn officially opened its $40 million basketball training facility on Friday christening the name of the facility after the first major donors to contribute.[/sny-editorial]

The Champions Center will be named after Peter J. and Pamela H. Werth, who pledged a multimillion dollar donation to get the project started.

The two donations, totaling $7 million, were critical for the project, the first University building financed entirely with private donations. The new $40 million basketball training facility is adjacent to the Harry A. Gampel Pavilion, the campus home of the 2014 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) men’s and women’s basketball championship teams.

“We believe the Werth Family UConn Basketball Champions Center is the key to sustaining UConn’s tradition of great basketball,” said Coleman Levy ’61 (CLAS), ’62 MA, ’66 JD, chairman of the UConn Foundation Board of Directors.

“Built solely with private donations, the Werth Family UConn Basketball Champions Center is a real tribute to the steadfastness of our friends and alumni and their willingness to support UConn’s transformation and vision for the future,” he added. The Werths’ latest gift of $2.3 million followed their previous $4.7 million pledge.

The 75,000-plus square-foot building features complete facilities for the men’s and women’s championship basketball programs. The center includes common areas designed for academic support, sports medicine and strength training, along with separate practice gyms, locker rooms, coaches’ offices, meeting rooms and video analysis facilities.

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UConn’s Jefferson reaching for new heights

By Carl Adamec

STORRS, Conn. — Moriah Jefferson was aware of the expectations even before she made her verbal commitment to play point guard for coach Geno Auriemma and the University of Connecticut women’s basketball team.

“Anytime you play for someone like Coach Auriemma, he throws a lot at you and you either catch it or you drop it,” Jefferson said. “So far, I think that I’ve done a good job of holding on to it.”

In her first season as a full-time starter a year ago, Jefferson did everything the Huskies asked of her and more.
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To Huskies, practice facility is perfect

By Carl Adamec

STORRS, Conn. — The Champions Center where the University of Connecticut women’s basketball team held its first official practice Wednesday may not be much more than a length-of-the-court pass to the Storrs Field House or Guyer Gymnasium.

For the Huskies and 30th-year coach Geno Auriemma, it’s in a different world.
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Freshman Williams continues to work way back

By Carl Adamec

STORRS, Conn. — Gabby Williams made it through her first official practice with the University of Connecticut women’s basketball team Wednesday looking forward to doing more.

The 5-foot-11 freshman guard from Sparks, Nevada, is still working her way back from her second surgery to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament in her right knee. She did drills and some halfcourt sets during Wednesday’s workout at the Champions Center. She does not play 5-on-5.
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