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Kobe Bryant Memorial: Geno Auriemma says Gianna was excited to play for UConn

Gianna and Kobe Bryant spent time with the UConn Huskies in 2017
Credit: AP
Connecticut women's basketball coach Geno Auriemma speaks during a celebration of life for Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna Monday, Feb. 24, 2020, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

LOS ANGELES — The University of Connecticut women's basketball coach says he came to the public memorial for Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna as a father, not as a basketball coach.

Geno Auriemma described to the Staples Center audience Monday the excitement that 13-year-old Gianna showed while visiting UConn, where she had hoped to one day play basketball.

Bryant and Gianna were killed along with seven others in a helicopter crash last month while they headed to a basketball tournament that the teen was going to play in.

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