STORRS, Conn. -- Geno Auriemma is never at a loss for words, but the University of Connecticut women's basketball coach never thought he'd say what he did Friday.
"If we could go back in time four years ago and tape this segment and hear these words come out of my mouth, 'I don't know where we would be without Saniya Chong,' I'd say, 'Somebody dubbed that into Coach Auriemma's mouth,' " Auriemma said during a press conference here. "Now here we are four years removed and I don't know where we would be without Saniya right now. That's how much she has changed and how much she has added to our program.
"It was two years ago when Saniya said she wanted to keep playing after college. I said something like, 'I'm sure there are many pickup leagues back in Ossining, New York, that would love to have you as part of their program.' Now having watched her play this year I'm thinking, 'You know, there is a place for her to play next year.' I told her at the conference tournament,' I don't know how many people understand this, but you might be the most important person out on the court for as long as we are in the NCAA tournament.'