Busy week for UConn coach Geno Auriemma
NEW YORK (AP) It's been a busy week for Geno Auriemma.
He spent the last few days in Toronto watching UConn players Kia Nurse, Breanna Stewart and Moriah Jefferson playing in the Pan Am Games. He'll head out on the recruiting trail this week. In between, Auriemma spent the early afternoon Tuesday taping an episode of the Yes Network's CenterStage that will air this fall.
Auriemma was on hand Monday night to see Nurse, a rising sophomore for the Huskies, score 33 points to help Canada win the gold medal over the U.S. and her Huskies' teammates, 81-73. It was the first gold for the host nation in basketball.
''She is just a fearless kid, and to do it on that stage with the gold medal at stake, at home and against the U.S.'' Auriemma said. ''I saw her after the game and I don't think I ever saw a kid happier and more proud of her team and herself. It was an incredible performance. I was standing there when Stewie (Stewart) came over; Stewie put her arms around her and said, `Really? You picked today to do that?' It was an electrifying performance. It really was.''
Huskies fans had a scary moment when Nurse and Jefferson collided going for a loose ball. That play resulted in Jefferson getting a concussion.
''I didn't see the actual collision part until later,'' Auriemma said. ''I wouldn't expect anything less. I can't say that I am surprised that happened. They are two great competitors, and that's why they are who they are.''
The Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame coach touched on a series of topics with show host Michael Kay during the 75-minute interview. They talked about Auriemma's upbringing, UConn, Pat Summitt, Jim Calhoun and John Wooden.
Auriemma admitted to Kay that his favorite meal is his wife's Veal Milanese and that he enjoys eating mint chip ice cream late at night.
When pressed on his favorite win at UConn, Auriemma recalled the team's victory over Toledo in 1991 that put his program in the East Regional final for the first time. One win later and UConn was in its first Final Four.
The show's host asked the 61-year old coach if he would ever consider leaving UConn for another job, including one in the NBA. Auriemma said he would consider a spot in the NBA, but he is happy where he is.
''You hear that it's always about the money,'' Auriemma said. ''But if they keep paying me the way they are paying me.''
While this summer has been somewhat relaxing for Auriemma after he won his third straight national championship and 10th overall with the Huskies, next year he will be prepping to coach the U.S. in his second consecutive Olympics.
''There's a lot more pressure coaching there because you're playing against the best in the world,'' he said.