(WTNH)–“We have Diana and you don’t.”
That’s how Geno Auriemma described his Huskies’ dominance back in 2004, Diana Taurasi’s senior season and UConn’s third of three straight championship years.
It was blunt, but unequivocally (and surely maddeningly) true.
She was the best women’s basketball player in the country. And there wasn’t anything anybody could do about it.
Fast-forward 13 years, and that same smiling face we saw back in Storrs, her eyes unable to hide that youthful charisma, that beaming confidence, was the one we saw breaking the WNBA’s all-time scoring record.
She’s a little older—like all of us—but that smile was still there.
Taurasi’s now reached 7,494 points. And that’s despite taking the 2015 season off to appease her Russain club team.
Diana only needed 12-plus seasons to break the all-time mark; it took previous recordholder Tina Thompson, of the WNBA’s first dynasty, the Houston Comets, 17 years to get there.
She’s done at the professional level what she did in college—averaging 19.9 points, 4.2 assists, 4 rebounds, 1.1 steals and nearly a block per game while carrying the Phoenix Mercury to three WNBA titles.
She’s Jordan-like in her charisma and competitiveness, LeBron-like with her diversified statline, Magic-like with her passing ability and the way she runs a team.
It’s too bad that most fans don’t get the chance to appreciate her the way they can the NBA stars. It’s too bad most people probably didn’t know how she was doing in the league–or that she was approaching this hallowed mark.
Looking back at her time with UConn, Huskies fans can really only feel blessed. We can take pride in knowing that she’s one of ours–one of the greatest athletes of all-time at one time called Connecticut home.
Maybe Geno wasn’t just talking about his 2004 national champs when he uttered those words. Maybe he was talking about the entire state.
We have Diana Taurasi and you don’t.
And that’s all you really need to know.