UConn Set To Attend Ceremony At White House Wednesday

UConn star Breanna Stewart needed to get her hair done. She needed to get her nails done too. You want to look your best when it comes to attending a marquee event.

And it does not get much bigger than meeting the President of the United States at the White House. The Huskies, who won their NCAA record-tying eighth national championship in April, will be honored by President Barack Obama Wednesday at 2 p.m.

The entire 2012-13 team is expected to be in attendance, including departed seniors Heather Buck, Caroline Doty and Kelly Faris.

“I’m very excited to meet the President,’’ Stewart said. “This will be the first time that I’ve ever met the President. I think it will be a fun experience. I just hope that I can get everything done that I need to
get done before I have to go to it.’’

Stewart and fellow teammates Moriah Jefferson and Morgan Tuck are fresh off winning a gold medal Sunday at the FIBA U-19 World Championship in Lithuania. It has been quite a stretch for this trio, along with UConn All-Americans Bria Hartley and Kaleena Mosqueda who won gold at the World University Games in Russia last month.

“It’s been pretty great,’’ said Stewart, who was named the Final Four Most Outstanding Player and the U-19 MVP. “I can’t complain, that’s definitely for sure. Being able to win the national championship my freshman year at UConn and then that following summer win the gold medal, I don’t think you can ask for a better start to your summer or a better spring and summer.’’

This will be UConn’s seventh trip to the White House as national champion. They have been hosted by President Bill Clinton (1995), President George W. Bush (2002-04) and this will be their third visit with Obama (2009, 2010).

The Huskies were unable to schedule a trip in the wake of winning the national championship in 2000. That summer head coach Geno Auriemma led the U.S. Junior World Championship team to a gold medal at the COPABA Junior World Cup Qualifying Tournament in Argentina and served as an assistant coach on the U.S. Olympic team in Australia.

“I’ve never been to the White House before,’’ Tuck said. “I met Obama when he was a Senator, but not as the President. So I’m just really excited to go and especially to see my teammates. I haven’t seen my teammates since school ended, the whole team. So I think that’ll be great to kind of reunite.

Here’s more from Tuck …

“It feels great,’’ Tuck said. “For him to recognize our team, recognize our faces because he watched the games or something like that. I think that’s just great to be able to … I think it’s better to be a champion than to meet the President, but to do both I think that’s amazing.’’