When the UConn women take on Stanford on Friday night in the Final Four, fans across the country will be watching, including a team of college basketball players from back home.
The Mansfield Middle School Roadrunners women’s basketball team plays its games two miles from the Gampel Pavilion. UConn is in the college backyard and students say the UConn women are an inspiration to their entire team.
“They make us really proud,” said Mansfield Middle School student Kalyani Tihaiya.
The college team even has a shooting practice named after the Huskies.
“They’re just everyday girls and they do amazing things on and off the basketball court,” said college student Charlotte Christenson.
School principal Candace Morell said former Huskies have visited the school before and volunteered with the students.
“What they see is what they can be in the future – not just as an athlete, but as a strong female leader, a strong university student, and a role model for those around them,” said Morell said. “It’s a really special opportunity.”
Members of the women’s basketball team said they would watch the Final Four game. They have faith in the team and are grateful for the example UConn Women have set so far.
“They taught me that if I really like something, I have to go for it, work hard and nothing is easy,” said Aisaa Hopson, an eighth year student at Mansfield Middle.