UConn women's team surprises young superfan with trip to watch them in Final Four

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Saturday, April 2, 2022
VIDEO: UConn surprises young superfan with trip to Final Four
The University of Connecticut women's basketball team surprised a young superfan with a trip to watch them play in the Final Four.

A girl from Pennsylvania fighting a life-threatening blood disorder is getting a lot of love from the University of Connecticut women's basketball team.

The team, who defeated Stanford in the Final Four Friday, gave the 9-year-old quite the surprise and it was all caught on video.

Daniela Ciriello was just 6 when she became an honorary member of the team.

Three years later and she's still beloved by the players whom she often makes Tik Tok videos with.

"We went pumpkin picking and we went back to their dorms to carve them. Me and Molly have dance battles," Daniela said. "We are close because whenever they win a game I get to go with them and we go on the court and throw balls that have UConn on them to the fans."

Daniela has a rare genetic disorder which requires her to receive blood transfusions every three weeks.

"It hasn't been easy. We have had our share of scary moments and scary tears," said Nicole Ciriello, Daniela's mom.

This week the team sent Daniela a special video message to invite her and her family to Minnesota to watch them play in the tournament.

The family connected with the team through the organization Team Impact.

"This is truly a family-centered program which encompasses the entire family that they can grow, find hope, strength and resiliency through their medical journey," said Lynn LaRocca with Team Impact.

CNN contributed to this report.

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