The fund-raiser for the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame will be at 5 p.m. Saturday at the East Tennessee Historical Center. The event will precede the induction ceremony at 7 at the Bijou Theatre. The hall asked both coaches about hosting.
“I think both of us, we’re just trying to help the game and the hall of fame,” said Warlick, who just completed her first season as Tennessee coach. “I don’t think we even hesitated. I know I didn’t.”
Connecticut coach Auriemma directed the Huskies in April to their eighth national championship, tying Tennessee for the most in women’s basketball history. Former UConn point guard Jennifer Rizzotti, who played a key role in helping win the first title in 1995, is part of this year’s induction class.
“For how many players he’s had and future hall of famers he’s going to have, I think he’s going to be there for everyone,” Rizzotti said.
Warlick described her relationship with Auriemma as “cordial” and based on “mutual respect for each other.”
Relations between the two programs have improved since their storied series dissolved in 2007 over acrimony involving recruiting. Auriemma and former UT coach Pat Summitt paid their respects to each other after UConn beat Louisville 93-60 in New Orleans to win its eighth championship.
Warlick said that she’s had no conversation with Auriemma about resuming the series. They’re presently concerned with putting on a good event.
“I think it will be fun,” Warlick said. “I think people should come out.”