UConn fans lined up outside Gampel Pavilion as early as 2 p.m. for the championship rally.
Fans fill Gampel Pavilion for championship rally to celebrate Huskies victory Selfies with Shabazz. Team circling Gampel greeting fans.
All the UConn players including Niels Giffey took time to high five the crowd outside Gampel.
The UConn Huskies have arrived at Bradley Airport in Windsor Locks around 4:30 p.m.
UConn Coach Kevin Ollie was greeted by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy on the tarmac at Bradley Airport on Tuesday afternoon. (Photo Courtesy: governor's Twitter account)
STORRS, CT (WFSB) -
The UConn Huskies returned to Connecticut on Tuesday afternoon after winning the national championship.
The University of Connecticut men's basketball team defeated the Kentucky Wildcats, 60-54, in the national championship game in Arlington, TX, on Monday night.
The UConn Huskies arrived at Bradley Airport around 4:30 p.m. They were greeted by a group of about a dozen fans as well as Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman.
The doors for the rally opened at 4:30 p.m., however die hard UConn fans were waiting outside Gampel Pavilion.
"Today we are going to honor them for that, and we are going to be loud and rowdy, and it's going to be fantastic," Kyle Constable said.
Constable is a UConn sophomore, but his friends aren't. They drove from Rhode Island last night.
"Let's show how we do it in Connecticut. And (we) came down here and watched the game, and the boys won," Ryan Ing said.
The group was first in line around 2 p.m.
Elaine Miller was second in line. She's a 1983 UConn graduate, who drove well more than an hour with her son.
"Well I promised my son, Greg, if we were going to win the championship that I would bring him up to the pep rally," Miller said. "I came up before when we have won in the past, and it was really fun."
There was a heavy Connecticut State Police presence outside Gampel before the UConn Huskies arrived on campus.
The rally was expected to start at 5:15 p.m. However, the Huskies did not arrive until around 6:30 p.m.
All the UConn players gave high fives to the fans waiting outside of Gampel. Then the players were introduced.
Shabazz Napier was the only player to address the about 7,200 people, who had filled Gampel.
"You made this a complete ride for me, you guys are the best," Napier said.
He thanked the fans for their support and said the team was "not capable of doing this without" them.
"When no one believed in us, you guys always did," Napier said.
UConn head coach Kevin Ollie also spoke about the team's chances next year.
"We are going to try to do this again next year," Ollie said.
During the ceremony, Napier's jersey was added to the Huskies of Honor at Gampel. His mother assisted in the unveiling.
Following the rally, Napier talked with Eyewitness News, where he explained his future plans.
"I'm going to get my degree," Napier said.
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