Seasons can’t be judged solely on whether a team raises a championship banner. Nowhere is this more evident than in the way a young woman’s lanky frame was shoehorned into a quiet corner of a locker room two weeks ago, her fingers dancing along the computer keyboard perched perilously on her lap. Her UConn basketball teammates were immersed in a card game a few feet away, laughing and cheering while another game played on TV. Natalie Butler, however, was putting the finishing touches on an essay she’d been crafting for days.
She tuned out the reporters peppering her teammates for quotes, their frantic questions and flashing cameras filling that concrete bunker like a dizzying fog. Natalie is not the “get,” the important quote to add to that column before deadline. She’s not one of the players getting extensive playing time and national television exposure; she doesn’t fill up the stat sheet.