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Former UConn star: Dan Hurley told me to 'get the hell out of here' and join NBA

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Donovan Clingan wanted to contend for a three-peat, but Dan Hurley was having none of it.

The former UConn star helped the Huskies to a second straight national championship earlier this year.

For a second straight year, the Huskies won every tournament game by double-digits and won their sixth title in school history.


UConn head coach Dan Hurley celebrates with center Donovan Clingan, left, after defeating Illinois in an Elite 8 game in the NCAA Tournament March 30, 2024, in Boston. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

The big man cemented himself as not just a lottery pick, but a top-10 selection in the draft with his performance in the tournament, averaging 15.3 points and 8.3 rebounds per game.

Clingan spent two seasons at UConn, and he was looking for a third title.

But Hurley knocked some sense into him.

"I went into Coach Hurley’s office, and I was like, ‘Yo coach, I’ll come back. I’ll go for another one.’ He’s like ‘You’re out of your mind, bro. Get the hell out of here.’ And I guess I had to go," Clingan told the "Knuckleheads Podcast," hosted by ex-NBA players Quentin Richardson and Darius Miles.

Donovan Clingan of the Connecticut Huskies reacts in the second half against the Purdue Boilermakers during the national championship game at State Farm Stadium April 8, 2024, in Glendale, Ariz. (Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

"It was probably like four days after we had won the title, but you know I was sad. I didn’t want to leave that place. I love UConn, Coach Hurley, the staff, the people around me and my teammates. Every time I walk in that building, it’s home. I went back twice last