LARSON STATEMENT CONGRATULATING UCONN BASKETBALL TEAMS
WASHINGTON, D.C.-U.S. Congressman John B. Larson (CT-1) made the following statement on the resolution in the House, H.Res. 599, congratulating the University of Connecticut Huskies men's and women's basketball teams on winning the Division I NCAA Championships.
"Mr. Speaker, I rise today to congratulate the University of Connecticut Men's and Women's basketball teams for their historic double championship wins in the 2004 NCAA Tournament. Today, thanks to men and women of the Huskies, Connecticut is a state of champions.
"Earlier this month, the nation learned what the people of Connecticut knew long ago: the skill and sportsmanship of the UConn Huskies is the stuff of legends. After the ups and downs of the regular season, UConn went on to dominate the NCAA tournament and emerged as the first school to win both the men's and women's tournaments in the same season. On April 6, 2004, the Husky men brought home their second national title with an 83-72 win over the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. The next night, the Lady Huskies went on to beat the Lady Vols of the University of Tennessee, 70-61, fulfilling yet another historic achievement by being the second team to capture three consecutive national titles.
"This has been an unprecedented year for the Huskies, and Jim Calhoun, Geno Auriemma, Chris Dailey, Tom Moore, George Blaney, Clyde Vaughan, Andre LaFleur, Tonya Cardoza, Jamelle Elliot, Jack Eisenmann, and the entire UConn basketball program should be commended for their unmatched leadership and pursuit of excellence on and off the basketball court.
"Once again this year, the men and women of the Huskies have proven themselves to be the best players in the country. Players like Emeka Okafor and Diana Taurasi personify the skill, hard work and dedication it takes to succeed. I know that I join many UConn fans when I say that I look forward to watching Diana play for the Phoenix Mercury, and wish Emeka and Ben Gordon luck in the NBA draft this summer.
"The men and women of the UConn Huskies have long been a source of pride for the State of Connecticut. Their success is a reflection of the very best qualities of our student athletes, and will no doubt inspire young boys and girls in our state and across the country to achieve their goals.
"Not only do the Huskies have the best players in the country, they have the best and most dedicated fans. For proof of this, one needs to look no further than the crowd of 300,000 excited UConn fans that lined the streets of Hartford for the Husky victory parade this past Sunday. The size of the crowd, roughly three times the city's own population, clearly demonstrates that the Huskies have a special place in the hearts and minds of the people of Connecticut.
"I ask my colleagues to join me in paying tribute to the UConn men's and women's basketball teams and celebrating their success. They are truly a credit to their families, to their university, to the great state of Connecticut, and to the nation as a whole."