I love a parade … and so did 24,999 others, apparently.
The Hartford Police estimated that 25,000 strong came to State Capitol Building in the downtown Hartford to celebrate the UConn women’s basketball team’s sixth NCAA title Sunday with a parade and at rally at the Capitol’s North steps.
People started gathering a good two hours before the start of the parade to get the best vantage points to see and hear the Huskies, led by Renee Montgomery, who spoke on behalf of the players.
“Nothting against Minnesota but this is exactly why I don’t want to leave Connecticut,” Montgomery said to the cheering crowd. Montgomery was recently selected by the Minnesota Lynx in the 2009 WNBA draft. “This is such a great feeling. The support you give us along with the fun we had, made this a great season.”
The players and coaching staff rode on a London-style double-decker bus around a shortened parade route before returning to the Capitol for closing statement.
In case you were wondering, that’s Geno Auriemma (below) in the sunglasses.
Gov. Jodi Rell led the dignitaries that lavished praise on the Huskies, saying: “This is the greatest fan base for any team in the U.S. We were with Geno and the team every step of the way. Six national titles, three undefeated seasons but this season topped them all. 39-0, that’s domination! You represent Connecticut in the best possible way.”
And if you couldn’t make it, here are a few more pictures to enjoy …