April 8, 2014
STORRS, Conn. - The 2014 NCAA Division I National Champion University of Connecticut men's basketball team returned to the Storrs campus for the first time since claiming the title on Monday night at AT&T Stadium when it took part in a Pep Rally at Harry A. Gampel Pavilion on Tuesday evening.
The Huskies were greeted by large cheers from packed arena as student managers, coaches and players made their way onto the stage.
Senior guard Shabazz Napier, who was named the Most Outstanding Player of the Final Four, addressed the crowd first, thanking the fans for their loyalty throughout the season. The AP First Team All-American spoke fondly of the 2011 National Championship run and mentioned how the championship was the perfect ending to his college career.
Next, head coach Kevin Ollie, who is just the second Connecticut head coach to lead the Huskies to a national title, stepped up to the podium and reminded fans what he said on Senior Day on March 5.
"I told you all to save the date," Ollie joked. "I knew on Senior Day that the team I had was special. This group of guys wouldn't stop fighting."
Ollie thanked his coaching staff, his players and called UConn Country the "greatest fans in the country".
Following Ollie's speech, Napier was inducted into the prestigious "Huskies of Honor" program, joining 18 former men's players. The "Huskies of Honor" program began during the 2006-07 season and pays tribute in Gampel Pavilion to the top players, coaches and contributors in UConn men's and women's basketball history.
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