Arizona head women’s basketball coach Adia Barnes isn’t going to apologize for being herself.
When the third-ranked Wildcats pulled out an incredible 69-59 victory over top-seeded UConn and head coach Geno Auriemma on Friday night, Barnes was caught by ESPN cameras throwing up two middle fingers and dropping an f-bomb in the process.
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During a press conference on Saturday, Barnes was asked about the clip that went viral on social media, and she stood by her celebration, saying “I don’t feel like I need to apologize.”
“It’s what I felt with my team at the moment, and I wouldn’t take it back,” Barnes said. “We’ve gone to war together, we look around the room — and we looked around the circle, we believe in each other. So, I’m in those moments, and that’s how I am, so I don’t apologize for doing that, but I’m just me, and I just have to be me.”
Barnes, who played college basketball at Arizona before playing for several years in the WNBA, said that she didn’t realize the cameras were on during that moment. But she said, “I’m just myself.”
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“There’s no strategy to it,” Barnes explained. “There’s no plan to be a certain way, I just do what I feel, which is good and bad. Because you saw at the end of the game, I honestly had a moment with my team — and I thought it was a more intimate huddle — and I said something to my team something I truly felt, and I know they felt.”
Arizona was set to take on Stanford in the women’s final on Sunday at 6 p.m. ET.