The UConnâ€™s womenâ€™s basketball team will play homecoming games for seniors Gabby Williams (at Nevada) and Kia Nurse (in Toronto vs. Duquesne) and junior Katie Lou Samuelson (at UCLA) this season.
Napheesa Collier will be taking notes.
â€śThe thing Iâ€™ve already picked up on is how they have been asking everyone for tickets for those games,â€ť Collier said. â€śSo Iâ€™m going to be sure to get a head start on that for next year.â€ť
The UConn junior and St. Charles, Missouri, native will have a homecoming of her own next year as UConn has signed a contract to play at Saint Louis University during the 2018-19 season. The deal is for just one game.
It will be the first meeting between the Huskies and the Billikens of the Atlantic-10 Conference.
â€śIt means a lot to me that the coaches would do this for me, and it means a lot to my family,â€ť Collier said. â€śBecause I go to school so far away from home, they donâ€™t get to come to any games unless they make a big road trip. This will be one time they wonâ€™t have to travel far and Iâ€™m happy my friends and family will get to see me play.â€ť
Collier graduated from Incarnate Word Academy in St. Louis in 2015, earning consensus All-American honors there and leading it to three state championships in three years.
She was named to the all-American Athletic Conf-erence freshman team in 2016, helping UConn to the national championship. She had hip surgery in the offseason and rebounded with a breakout sophomore year, leading the AAC in scoring (20.4), field-goal percentage (67.8) and blocks (2.1), while also ranking third in rebounds. She was the AAC Co-Player of the Year with Samuelson and a consensus first-team All-American.
Collier has also captured three gold medals playing for USA Basketball and attended her first senior national team camp in California last weekend.
â€śI hope the people that will come to the game will see Iâ€™ve grown and tried to make my city proud,â€ť Collier said.