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UConn WBB Weekly: Swin Cash didn’t start with No. 32 but she made it her legacy

The Hall of Famer wore No. 23 her first year at UConn before switching to No. 32.

Ian Bethune/The UConn Blog

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  • Azzi Fudd was one of 50 players named to the Wooden Award watchlist

Swin Cash didn’t start with No. 32, but she made it her legacy

On Monday night, UConn retired Swin Cash’s No. 32, an honor the school reserves for players inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Even though others have worn it since — including the last six years with Batouly Camara and Piath Gabriel — it will forever be associated with Cash now.

The accolade does come with a footnote, though. When Cash arrived in Storrs, senior Courtney Gaine had No. 32. As a freshman, Cash certainly wasn’t going to rock the boat and ask her for it, so she picked the same two digits, just in a different order: No. 23.

“Shout out to Courtney Gaines who wouldn’t give me that 32 my freshman year,” Cash said with a laugh. “No, I’m joking. I literally came here freshman year, Courtney Gaines is going to be a senior...I respected the process of how things were and I flipped it to 23.”

As soon as Gaines graduated, Cash got her number back. It held a special significance to her for a couple of reasons. Not only did she grow up a fan of Magic Johnson, but her mom also wore it during her basketball playing days.

“I just wanted to make my own mark,” Cash said. “It was special.”

Throughout her WNBA career, she wore No. 32 on the bookends — during her first six years with the Detroit Shock and her last three years with the New York Liberty. In between, Cash donned No. 2 with the Seattle Storm, No. 8 with the Chicago Sky, and No. 4 with the Atlanta Dream. At the international level, she had to settle for No. 11.

Cash is one of 11 women’s basketball players to win an NCAA title, a WNBA championship, an Olympic gold medal, and a FIBA World Championship. In time, she’ll also make history at UConn as the first player to have two numbers retired — sort of.

Eventually, Maya Moore will be inducted into the Hall of Fame — four years after she officially announces her retirement, which hasn’t happened yet — and her No. 23 will join Cash’s No. 32, Rebecca Lobo’s No. 50 and Ray Allen’s No. 34 in the rafters at Gampel Pavilion. When that happens, both of Cash’s jersey numbers at UConn will be out of circulation for good.

“I will definitely say, ‘Maya, I did not keep that number so you can thank me later,” she laughed.

Photo of the week

Ian Bethune/The UConn Blog

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