Former Connecticut All-American and current ESPN analyst Rebecca Lobo talks about the greatness of the Huskies’ program, the future of the WNBA and being married to a talented writer:
How magical was that undefeated 1995 season at Connecticut?
It was magical for me because I was a part of it. But it was a pretty exciting year because it was the beginning of this groundswell of attention and support for women’s basketball that was starting to happen. It clearly changed my life and that of my teammates.
Why has UConn endured at or near the top since then?
Obviously the No. 1 thing is Geno (Auriemma). He’s the best coach in the game. And don’t forget his staff, but also the fan support. It’s a great place to play with great crowds and support from the administration.
Taking yourself out of the equation, who’s the greatest UConn player of all-time?
Diana Taurasi. Three championships, and she won two of them with a group that wasn’t full of All-Americans. She was able to will her team to win.
You were one of the original WNBA players. Why do you think the league is under the radar most of the time?
You have look at it the other way. It’s the only women’s professional sports league that’s survived, and it’s going into its 17th season. It also just signed a long-term contract with ESPN. We’ve also got the “3 to See” (Baylor’s Brittney Griner, Notre Dame’s Skylar Diggins and Delaware’s Elena Delle Donne) coming into it this year, which is going to generate interest. I think that’s pretty successful.
You were critical of the officiating in the Louisville/Baylor Sweet 16 game. What was going on there?
I thought early in the game it should have been called tighter because it was so physical. I don’t know if it would have changed the result, though. I was stunned at the outcome. I don’t think there was anyone who felt that Louisville could beat Baylor. But Louisville played great. Give them all the credit for it.
You’re married to sportswriter Steve Rushin. He’s a master of word play and vague historical references. Does he ever bounce them off you first?
Sometimes there’s an occasional eye roll in the house. But he doesn’t run them by me first, because he knows better. He’s very clever, though. That’s why I married him.