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UConn Men's & Women's Basketball Teams are Celebrated as State's No. 1 Sports Attraction

New York, NY, January 7, 2004 - This week's SPORTS ILLUSTRATED highlights the sports scene in the state of Connecticut, marking the 25th of 50 state-specific sections to be published in the magazine as part of SI's yearlong 50th Anniversary celebration.

Identifying the tradition of the University of Connecticut's Huskies basketball program as a unique attribute of the state, the six-page feature also includes an accompanying essay by Connecticut native S.L. Price , plus a wide range of facts, figures and photographs highlighting the most memorable moments and personalities that have shaped Connecticut's sports landscape.

The Connecticut edition begins hitting newsstands today, Wednesday, January 7, 2004 . Newsstand copies in Connecticut will feature a cover-flap identifying the special Connecticut section.

Highlights from the special section include:

  • In " Drawn by Huskies ," senior writer Michael Bamberger explains why UConn's two highly ranked basketball teams are by far the state's No. 1 sports attraction.
  • For too long the Nutmeg State was lost in a sports no-man's-land, writes S.L. Price in " Betwixt and Between ."
  • The Poll: Nutmeggers weigh in on their state's sports scene in a Harris Interactive poll that found these results:
      o Favorite major league baseball team......New York Yankees (42%)
      o Favorite NFLteam.........................New York Giants (27%)
      o Favorite NBA team........................Boston Celtics (22%)
      o State's biggest sports rivalry...........Massachusetts (28%)
      o Favorite pro team........................New York Yankees (28%)

  • Enemy of the State: Lady Vols head basketball coach Pat Summitt (25%) is the first woman to be named a No. 1 Enemy in SI's 50th Anniversary state series. Yankees owner George Steinbrenner came in second (20%) followed by Patriots owner Bob Kraft (14%). Nutmeggers' most hated opponents? The Tennessee Volunteers (37%).
  • Greatest Moment - Editor's pick: While no Nutmegger can forget the upset of Duke ("We shocked the world!" cried guard Khalid El-Amin), the first Connecticut basketball team to win a national title was the '94-95 women's squad, let by Rebecca Lobo, Jen Rizzotti and Nykesha Sales. Those Lady Huskies energized the state by going 35-0 and beating Tennessee 70-64 in the final.
  • Sportstown: the town of Rocky Hill earns Sports Illustrated 50th Anniversary Sportstown honors for having Connecticut's best community sports programs.

SI's 50th Anniversary program, America's Sports Illustrated: 50 Years, 50 States, 50 Sports, is a wide-ranging multimedia platform that is the most ambitious initiative in the history of the franchise. The grassroots effort, which began in July 2003 and continues through July 2004, is a yearlong celebration of sports in America. It will include editorial coverage in the magazine and online, a community sports outreach campaign with YMCA of the USA and the National Recreation and Park Association, as well as The Toyota Presents Sports Illustrated's 50th Anniversary Tour that will travel to unique sports events and festivals in cities and towns throughout the country. SI's actual 50th anniversary date is August 16, 2004. Toyota is the presenting sponsor of the Tour; Best Buy , MassMutual Financial Group and Starter are program sponsors.

Contacts: Sheyl Spain, SI (212) 522-6905 -- Julie Sprich, Edelman (212) 522-9511

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