Long-Time Friends Harry, Mosqueda-Lewis Finally Face Off

BYU junior Xojian Harry remembers talking to her mother a couple years ago about how nice it would be to play UConn at least once during her career because then she would get the chance to see Huskies’ junior All-American Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis. The two have been friends nearly all of their lives.

With the 12th-seeded Cougars and top-seeded Huskies each winning their first two games of the NCAA tournament, Harry’s wish has been granted. The teams will meet today in the Lincoln Regional semifinals at Pinnacle Bank Arena.

“It’s kind of cool how it worked out,’’ Harry said. “Her mom (Sundy) is actually my aunt’s best friend, and so that’s how we met. We’ve been friends for years. I remember one year going back and my aunt (Michelle Ahmad) flew me out (to California) to surprise her for her birthday party. That was fun. Her dad, Khairi, and her little brother, Xander, were at our game in California against Nebraska (Monday). So I saw them, got pictures with them. I haven’t seen them in a while.

“My aunt lives in California and every year my aunt flies me out (from Utah) and I get to go out there and spend time with them for like a week. So every time I go out there then I get to see Kaleena. We have gone to a gym when I was out there visiting and stuff, and we have played pickup games against other people. I’ve never played against her. It was fun playing with her.”

Said Mosqueda-Lewis: “My dad and her uncle worked for the same fire department (in Anaheim Hills) ever since I was 3-years-old. Her family would come down for Thanksgiving. We’d be there for Christmas. We’d hang out together. So we’ve known each other for a long time, and spent holidays and weeks together.’’

Mosqueda-Lewis said she spoke with Harry earlier this week. But there was no trash-talking.

“I just asked her if she was ready for the Sweet 16 and ready for Nebraska,’’ Mosqueda-Lewis said. “And she said, `Heck, yeah, I’m ready.’

“It’s really fun to play against your friends. It’s kind of cool when you think about it. You grow up together and you both get to play college basketball and you get to go to schools that we do and we get to play each other in the Sweet 16, it’s so cool to see how far we’ve come.’’