Gianna Bryant, 13, daughter of Kobe and Vanessa Bryant, was an avid basketball player and student of the game. She made it known that she had dreams of playing basketball at University of Connecticut.

That life plan was cut short when she died Sunday in a helicopter that went down in the Calabasas hills on the way to a basketball tournament. Eight others, including her father and two teammates, also died in the crash.

While the world stopped to mourn, UConn coaches and players wanted to do their part to honor her memory. A game against the USA team, where five UConn alumnae now play, seemed the perfect opportunity.