President Obama honors UConn women's basketball at White House
Coach Geno Auriemma and the University of Connecticut women's basketball team have become accustomed to winning national titles.
And along with those championships, the team has gotten pretty familiar with the White House and President Obama by now.
Obama welcomed the Huskies once again Tuesday to celebrating the team's third consecutive championship in 2015. The 63-53 win over Notre Dame back in April marked the program's 10th title under Auriemma.
"This is the team’s third visit in a row. They are now certified to provide White House tours," Obama said. "I was telling folks this was becoming like annual Christmas tree lighting. We do this every year around this time."
Obama praised the team's competitive spirit and all-star efforts, not only on the court, but in the classroom and community as well. He highlighted the team's conference-leading GPA and players who made the dean's list. Obama also recocognized the players' work at local food banks and food drives, Christmas parties for terminally ill children and basketball clinics for children.
"They are outstanding basketball players, more importantly outstanding citizens and outstanding role models for our kids. And not just for our girls but also for our boys."
Obama spoke about his two daughters Malia and Sasha and the positive influence the UConn women have on them specifically.
"I’ve got two daughters who are tall, gorgeous and athletic. For them to know that they have a whole bunch of people ahead of them who are doing great stuff, it empowers them. It makes me feel very proud to be with these outstanding women."
"It doesn't matter how many times you come here, it's still special. When the President walks in the room, it means something." - Geno— UConn Women's Hoops (@UConnWBB) September 15, 2015
This year's visit marked the fifth time the Huskies have made the trip to Washington D.C. during the Obama administration. While it may be the fifth, Auriemma said it's just as special as the other times.
"One year, he said were 39-1 because he beat us on his home court, and we haven’t had a chance to play again. But this is an incredible honor for us," he said. "It doesn’t matter how many times you’re here come here. When you walk in that door, it’s still a special feeling. It’s just as meaningful and just as moving for us as the very first time."
Both President Obama and Coach Auriemma pointed out that no team has ever won four championships in a row but neither count out the Huskies in 2016.
"I don’t want to jinx it but no team has ever won four in a row. I’m just saying. You get here one more time and we may have to name the White House basketball court after you. Or at least you can guide the tour," Obama said.
"He’s going to be here one more year. And there’s no better way for him to go out next year than to host us again," Auriemma said.
"See you next year."