April 5, 2019, published on


She’d hear the word bellow out of coach Geno Auriemma at a practice, and she’d know she was about to get called out. Again. Another mistake.

And the worst part? She knew he was right.

She was playing too deferential. Too timid.

Napheesa Collier had a long way to go.

But that didn’t mean it didn’t kill the now-senior UConn forward to hear it from the team’s legendary coach.

Auriemma knew how to press her buttons. How to mine more out of her. He’d dog her about stretching out of her comfort zone around the hoop, developing a mid-range game.

At one practice, he called her selfish when she failed to dive for a loose ball that was rolling out of bounds.

And he’d yell these generalizations. “Phee, you don’t ever get a rebound!” “Phee, you never stop the ball!”

Collier wouldn’t give him the satisfaction of knowing he got under her skin, though. She burned to prove him wrong. (READ FULL STORY HERE).