Taurasi, teammates show fan appreciation

STORRS, Conn. -- The two-time defending national champion
Connecticut women's basketball team kicked off the 2003-04 season
Saturday with the annual Super Show program.

Diana Taurasi, Ashley Battle, Barbara Turner, Maria Conlon and
the rest of the team entertained 9,188 fans in Gampel Pavilion with
a scrimmage and a 3-point shooting contest.

The Huskies defeated a practice squad 64-14 and Taurasi won the
3-point contest, defeating Ashley Valley 5-3 in the final round.

The Super Show also included the unveiling of the 2003 NCAA
Championship banner and the presentation of the championship rings
to the team.

Coach Geno Auriemma said the team puts on the show to repay fans
for their support.

"People can't get tickets to our games. We're sold out,"
Auriemma said. "We have the Super Show to give the people a chance
to watch our kids that can't get to our games."

Taurasi, last year's national player of the year, said the event
was a chance to enjoy the fans and the surroundings. For Taurasi, a
senior, it was her last Super Show.

"I just want to try and soak everything in all season,"
Taurasi said. "You don't take things for granted, but sometimes
you don't appreciate things enough. You have to enjoy this."

The team is aiming for its third straight national title -- a
feat accomplished only by Tennessee in 1996-98.

"We have a chance to make more history," Conlon said. "There
are a lot of special things that can happen...There are a lot of
things we want to accomplish."