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According to UConn women's basketball coach Geno Auriemma, Gianna Bryant was only 13 but already considered UConn to be her dream college. She had even told the coach after a campus visit that she wanted to play for the Huskies one day.
Unfortunately, she lost her life on Sunday in a helicopter crash, along with eight others.
UConn and USA Basketball honored Gianna and her father at the start of their exhibition game on Monday. The Huskies placed a No. 2 jersey along with flowers on the bench, and named her "forever a Husky."
"You've just got to put on a happy face and you've got to do what you've got to do," Auriemma said after the game. "It wasn't easy."
Read more about Gianna and Kobe Bryant's connection to UConn on the Hartford Courant.