How UConn women’s basketball program prepared Kelly (Schumacher) Raimon for coaching in WNBA

For former UConn women’s basketball center Kelly (Schumacher) Raimon, getting into coaching was all about returning to the sport she loves most.

Raimon helped lead the Huskies to their second NCAA title in 2000 and later won two WNBA titles. And after playing professional volleyball following her WNBA career, Raimon knew she wanted to get back to basketball.

This summer, Raimon enters her second season as an assistant coach with the Dallas Wings. It’s her third WNBA assistant coaching stop in a career that was molded by her time at UConn along with her new passion for the sport and the people behind it.

“I think I look at things different, like it (coaching) shows me that there’s a difference from when I was playing,” Raimon said. “And it’s just opened up my thinking a little bit to times have changed and I’m open to that and people have changed. I think dealing with them in a leadership way, I’ve learned a lot.

“It’s building the relationships side with the players and also with the staff. … I just like to be on the court again, like that part is exciting.”

After graduating from UConn in 2001, Raimon was drafted No. 14 overalls by the Indiana fever. In her nine-year career, she played for four teams and won two WNBA titles — first with Phoenix in 2007 and a year later with the Detroit Shock, which became the Tulsa Shock and later the Dallas Wings.

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