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."
"I don't know that it makes anything any better," Auriemma said Tuesday night after his Huskies won their 90th consecutive game. "But, it was just our way of saying, 'You didn't get a chance to be here, but your kind of are.'"
McKenzie, who was 6-foot-2, was already playing for Mount Vernon's junior varsity high school team. She was described by Mount Vernon school officials and coaches as excellent student, athlete and role model.
"It got a lot of notice because she is a basketball player," Auriemma said.Read more at CNSNews