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UConn women’s hoops honors teen killed by stray bullet

HARTFORD — A 13-year-old New York girl killed by a stray bullet while riding home from basketball practice has been made an honorary member of the UConn women’s basketball team.

UConn Coach Geno Auriemma said he decided to make the gesture after hearing the story of Mount Vernon, New York, eighth-grader Shamoya McKenzie, who died on New Year’s Eve.

McKenzie’s mother has said her daughter had a poster of the current UConn team in her bedroom, and dreamed of playing for the Huskies.

Auriemma said after reading about her life, he sent McKenzie’s family a team jersey with her number, 30, along with a letter that read, “Once a Husky, Always a Husky.”

Auriemma says it was his way of saying, “You didn’t get a chance to be here, but you kind of are.”