Fandom Week: How UConn Women’s Basketball changed my life

Saniya Chong goes up for a jump shot in a 94-64 win over the Syracuse Orange. (File photo/ The Daily Campus)

This week, Daily Campus Sports is celebrating both the highs and the lows of invested fandom with a series of personal articles telling the stories of our sports memories. This is Fandom Week.

On Dec. 28, 2015 I attended my first UConn women’s basketball game. It was the Maggie Dixon Classis held in Madison Square Garden and it featured UConn taking on No. 6 Maryland.

I had received the tickets for Christmas and couldn’t have been more pumped about going. For the last two years I had watched UConn play in the Final Four, and now I was getting to see them in person.

At the game, my aunt, uncle and I sat right next to the UConn band and I heard the UConn Husky chant for the first time. I was in awe of how passionate the fans were about their team and how many people were there.

Even though the final score was 83-73, the game felt too close to call at times. After the game, I bought my very own UConn hat and my obsession with UConn women’s basketball began.

Ever since that game, it feels like all I ever did in my spare time was watch film of old games or watch current games. I was enamored by this team that knew no concept of losing. The games would be 40-point blowouts and I was still enthralled.

What I really love about the UConn women’s basketball team, past or present, is the players’ chemistry and their commitment to the team. It seems to me that everyone puts the good of the team first and understands their roles. To be that committed to something and to do it so well so and so soften much is just incredible to me.

My favorite UConn women’s basketball moment from the team since I became a fan is definitely a toss-up. The first is when Breanna Stewart had three blocks in one possession against Duquesne in the second round of the NCAA tournament. I was at Gampel Pavilion for that game and I can still feel the crowd’s reaction after that third block. My favorite part was that she seemed completely unfazed by it. My second moment is when Briana Pulido hit a shot in the final minute of the 2016 National Championship against Syracuse. The way the team reacted after she hit that shot is an iconic UConn sports moment.

When I decided to transfer to a new university after my first year, I presented my family with a few schools that I was thinking of, but the choice was clear to me from the beginning; I longed to go UConn and be a Husky. I wanted to be a part of the student section and cheer loudly for my team. I wanted to feel that pride as another championship banner was unveiled.

So I came to UConn and have to thank all the amazing women who play and have played for the UConn women’s basketball team for bringing me to the school of my dreams and for inspiring my pursuit of sports journalism.


Mariana Dominguez is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at mariana.dominguez@uconn.edu.