UNCASVILLE, Conn. -- Rosemary Ragle grew up in Alabama and spent most of her professional life in Storrs, Connecticut.
And while she wouldn't trade her two years in New York City working at the Hospital for Special Surgery and serving as the athletic trainer for the WNBA's New York Liberty, when the opportunity came to return to Connecticut she couldn't pass it up.
Ragle, who was the athletic trainer for 10 national championship women's basketball teams at UConn, is back in a familiar place as the first-year athletic trainer for the Connecticut Sun.
"It's still early and I'm still getting to know the players," Ragle said Wednesday during the team's media day. "But they are extremely nice. Coach (Curt) Miller puts together a good group of nice people. I like it. He and his coaching staff are awesome, very friendly, very inclusive. The players are making sure that I'm OK rather than the other way around. So far, it's been good."
The Sun open their exhibition schedule on Monday at Mohegan Sun Arena against the Los Angeles Sparks.
Ragle earned her bachelor's degree in exercise science from Troy University in 1996 and completed her master's degree from LSU in sport management in 1998. She also owns a national championship ring from working with the 1997 LSU women's outdoor track and field team. In 2015, she was inducted into the New England Basketball Hall of Fame.
She left UConn in 2016 to work with the Liberty, who won back-to-back Eastern Conference titles while she was there. But with the franchise being put up for sale and with her desire to leave the city, the timing of the Sun job opening was perfect.
"It was, kind of, a fluke," Ragle said. "I decided to take the offseason off after the Liberty season ended to go home and spend time with my family (in Alabama). I was home for maybe a week when I got the news that the team was being sold. I would call them every week, 'What's going on? What's going on? What's going on?' You never know what's going to happen. I kept calling. Then the Connecticut Sun job opened up and the next thing I know it's the end of January and I'm here doing interviews. It just seemed like ... it's Connecticut. I spent 18 years at UConn and it felt good to come home.
"I loved working with the Liberty, but being in the city not so much. It's no offense to New Yorkers. The city just wasn't my thing and I was away from all my friends. When I was 20 maybe it would have been right. But not now."
The Sun have one UConn graduate on their roster: Morgan Tuck.
Of course, Ragle and Tuck spent a lot of time together in the trainer's room in Storrs as Tuck battled knee issues for most of her college career.
"When I found out she was coming here I was so excited because Rosie is my all-time favorite trainer of life," Tuck said. "Maybe it's because I've been with her so much unfortunately, but she is really good. I'm excited to have Rosie here."
Ragle started at UConn in 1998 and began working with women's basketball coach Geno Auriemma's program a year later. The Huskies won a national championship her first season and would add nine more including in her last four seasons with Tuck, Breanna Stewart and Moriah Jefferson.
Does she miss UConn?
"Oh my gosh, yes," Ragle said. "I do. UConn treated me extremely well. I could not have worked with a better group of athletes and coaches. After 18 years there it was hard for me to leave and it's been hard to be away.
"I still follow them and watch them, absolutely. Two years in a row now the endings have been so hard. This time (against Notre Dame) I was watching with my dad and he was so bummed. It's not what we were accustomed to at UConn."
Ragle laughed when told the Huskies haven't won a national championship since her departure.
"You sound like my father," she said with a smile.
She joins a franchise that is on the rebound following the disaster that was the Anne Donovan era.
In 2017, Miller's second season, he took one of the youngest teams in the league and led the Sun to a 21-13 record and their first playoff berth since 2012. Guard Jasmine Thomas, forward Alyssa Thomas and center Jonquel Jones emerged as all-stars. The nucleus is back and they welcome back 2014 WNBA Rookie of the Year Chiney Ogwumike from injury. With their first-round pick in last month's draft, they added Duke guard Lexie Brown. Connecticut's regular season opener is May 20 against the Las Vegas Aces.
Ragle was part of a special run at UConn. Maybe her good luck will continue with the Sun.
"I want to bring my A game every day," Ragle said. "I want to work with the other support staff closely so they know we all have the same interests, that the players are at their best. I want them to know that I'm there for them and I'm working my tail off that they're healthy enough to win a championship."
Danni Williams chooses Texas
The Texas A&M fight songs include the line "good bye to Texas University" but for former Aggies' guard Danni Williams, it will be hello.
Williams, who played three years for coach Gary Blair at Texas A&M, will use her final year of eligibility at the University of Texas. As a graduate transfer -- she will receive a bachelor's degree in sport management from Texas A&M later this month -- she will eligible immediately.
"She is a seasoned basketball player who will immediately bring some maturity and experience to our backcourt," Texas coach Karen Aston said in as statement. " She is a gym rat also, which I think fits with our players, and is a sponge when it comes to wanting to be the best she can be in all areas of her life. Danni clicked with our players and staff from the start and it seemed like it was a perfect fit."
Williams, a 5-foot-10 native of Clovis, New Mexico, had made a visit to UConn in April. She started all 36 games as a junior for the Aggies and led the SEC in minutes played (36.4 per game). She averaged 14.4 points, shooting 41.5 percent from the floor, 38.6 percent from 3-point land, and 84.1 percent from the foul line as Texas A&M reached the NCAA tournament Sweet 16 before losing to eventual national champion Notre Dame.