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Nike's Phil Knight pens letter of congratulations to Geno Auriemma

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Geno: There are no more places to conquer (3:12)

Connecticut coach Geno Auriemma explains how important Connecticut players Breanna Stewart, Moriah Jefferson and Morgan Tuck were to winning UConn's 11th national title. (3:12)

INDIANAPOLIS -- Nike chairman and co-founder Phil Knight joined the chorus of congratulations for UConn women's basketball coach Geno Auriemma after his Huskies won the program's 11th national championship Tuesday.

In a letter to Auriemma, Knight said that the longtime Huskies coach "reshaped the sport and the way the world looks at a female basketball player. She is no longer a charming pioneer, she has been transformed into a hero."

Knight pointed out that when UCLA men's coach John Wooden won his 10th and final national championship in 1975, "conventional wisdom" was that college basketball would never see that level of success again.

"Conventional wisdom did not see you," Knight wrote.

At that time, Auriemma was a college student at West Chester University in Pennsylvania. A decade later, when Auriemma took over the women's program at Connecticut in 1985, the Huskies had experienced just one winning season.

"Your success was not exactly handed to you," Knight wrote. "But succeed you did."

Knight also complimented Auriemma for the academic success of the Huskies during his 31 years running the program, saying, "You have done it with students who play basketball, not basketball players going to school."

Nike is selling an official T-shirt to honor UConn's 11 championships. Members of the UConn team are receiving a special version of the KD8 shoes in gray, white, navy and red, with a gold swoosh. The words "National Champs" are embroidered on the inner tongue of the shoe, with "11" on the heel.