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Lobo enters Hall of Fame 15 minutes from where she grew up

SPRINGFIELD, MA - SEPTEMBER 08: Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Class of 2017 enshrinee Rebecca Lobo speaks during the 2017 Basketball Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony at Symphony Hall on September 8, 2017 in Springfield, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — Rebecca Lobo was in familiar surroundings Thursday while preparing to be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

The former UConn and WNBA star grew up 13 miles away in Southwick.

The 43-year-old ESPN analyst reminisced about shooting baskets as a girl on an old moving walkway at the old Hall of Fame building and talked about joining the “titans of the game” she read about there while growing up.

Lobo, who led UConn to its first national title, won an Olympic gold medal and was among the first players in the WNBA, says didn’t realize the impact of her career until she saw little boys wearing replicas of her jersey.

She says she hopes she helped change the way those boys viewed girls and sports.

Lobo will be officially inducted into the Hall Friday as part of an 11-member class that also includes NBA stars Tracy McGrady and George McGinnis, Kansas coach Bill Self and Notre Dame women’s coach Muffet McGraw.