President honors Huskies at White House today - WFSB 3 Connecticut

President honors Huskies at White House today

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UConn Women's basketball team Coach Geno Auriemma talks at the White House. (CBS) UConn Women's basketball team Coach Geno Auriemma talks at the White House. (CBS)
WASHINGTON (WFSB) -

The President honored the University of Connecticut's Women's Basketball Team on Tuesday afternoon.

President Barack Obama hosted the Huskies following their 2016 NCAA championship victory.

“When I called Coach Auriemma to congratulate him...I told him we’d have his room ready for him when he got here," Obama said. 

The 2016 NCAA championship victory marked UConn's fourth straight national title and 11th overall. The Huskies defeated Syracuse 82 to 51 last month in Indianapolis.

 "So there's an old saying:  You can’t win all the time," Obama said. "Except this team seems to consistently want to bust that cliché."

The president congratulated the Huskies on the "extraordinary record." He discussed how UConn beat the record for the most consecutive national championships by one team and most championships by a head coach in Division I sports.  

"Coach [Geno] Auriemma’s players will tell you he is one of the foremost experts on tough love.  I'm pretty good at that, too.  You can ask Malia and Sasha," Obama said as the crowd laughed out loud. 

The president also discussed the fact that over half the team has a GPA of a 3.0 or higher. He said that they help out in the community and ran a basketball clinic, collected toiletries and taught students to be kind to one and another. 

"So these young women know what it means to give back to a community that gives them so much," Obama said.

The president said he feels that the Huskies will be back to the White House. 

"I will not be -- I'll be honest, Coach, I’ll miss the visits, our annual phone calls. But I just want to say how incredibly proud I am of all that they have achieved. These women have broken so many records. We don’t have time to run through all of them, but throughout they've done it with grace and good humor and good sportsmanship, and an outlook that serves as an example for young athletes -- boys and girls -- to look up to," Obama said. "Their triumphs are an example of the ways that sports can bring an incredible sense of competitive fire, but also teamwork and cooperation, discipline and hard work to a young person’s life. They're going to continue to be great athletes. They're going to continue to be great role models."  

Auriemma talked about his team and their accomplishments. 

"They've done something that is pretty incredible in the sense that every other player that goes to college for the rest of the time that they play basketball can never beat, can never top what they've done," Auriemma  said. "Somebody can tie them, somebody can do exactly what they've done. But they go to bed at night, every night, knowing that no one in the history of basketball has ever done what they've done, and no one will ever be able to do more than they've done.  And that's something that we all are really proud of."

Auriemma also discussed his relationship with the president.

"And I'm going to miss the relationship. I'm going to miss coming down here," Auriemma  said. "I'm going to miss his support that we have."

Throughout Tuesday, the Husky players were tweeted about their experience including the plane ride. 

They posted about their arrival at the White House and visited some of the rooms. 

And even the gifts, they received from the president. 

The event kicked off at 2:30 p.m. and was streamed live by The White House. 

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