University of Connecticut guard Katie Lou Samuelson was drafted by the Chicago Sky with the fourth overall pick in the draft, and received another surprise shortly after her moment on stage.

The WNBA team cued up highlights of her career that quickly switched into a video message from Boston Celtics legend Larry Bird, whose No. 33 Samuelson has proudly worn since fifth grade. Samuelson was projected as a top-5 draft pick all season, but it was the message from an idol that left her speechless. 

Bird’s message:

“Congratulations on your amazing high school and college careers, Katie Lou. Your talent and determination will be a great asset to the WNBA and I wish you continued success. Thank you for the honor of wearing No. 33. I can’t wait to see what you will accomplish at the next level.”

Samuelson had trouble stringing words together she was so in awe of the surprise. Her admiration for the retired NBA superstar has been well covered since her days at Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana, California. No one currently on the Sky roster wears No. 33, so it’s hers for the taking.

“Wow. That’s amazing,” Samuelson said. “That is amazing. I was not — I … am speechless. He’s my favorite player ever, why I wear the number. Oh my goodness, Wow. Thank you guys so much. Thanks, Larry!

Apparently she’s a huge Larry Legend fan. 

From the UConn Blog:

“I’ve just loved watching [Bird],” she said. “The stuff he does is crazy, it’s fun to watch, it’s entertaining and I think what really got me was how he might not look like he’s going to go out there and kick your butt but he’s the first one to start things. He’s not going to back down from everything and he’s going to produce after what he says.”

Samuelson is fourth on UConn’s all-time scoring list. She’s only the 10th Husky to reach the 2,000-point mark and ranks second in made 3-pointers. 

Check out more of Katie Lou below: 

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