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Connecticut Superfan Has Everyone In Awe Of Her Crocheted Ponchos

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If you’ve ever been to a UConn women’s basketball game at the XL Center or Gampel Pavilion, or a Connecticut Sun game at Mohegan Sun Arena, you’ve likely seen a woman decked from head to toe in handmade, crocheted outfits. Her name is Angel Earle. She’s been very well-known within the women’s basketball world in Connecticut for a few years now. But her love for basketball began just over a decade ago with the UConn Huskies.

Where It All Began

Growing up in Connecticut, Earle was a high school cheerleader who enjoyed cheering on the basketball team. However, it wasn’t until later in life that she dove headfirst into basketball fandom. Earle is a live-in caretaker for the elderly. Back in 2011, she began caring for a client whose husband was a huge fan of the UConn women’s and men’s teams. That was when she started watching all the games. Maya Moore was finishing up her UConn career in the spring of 2011, and it’s pretty easy to be drawn to basketball when you’re watching Moore play. She’s one of Earle’s favorites.

Earle would later take care of another client who was actually a UConn alumni. She was a big fan of the women’s team. So again, Earle would watch the games with her client. One night while watching a game, Earle said she asked her client, “Do you want to go see a game in person?” Of course, the answer was a resounding yes. So they went to a couple games together. Then, Earle asked her, “Do you want to go to all the home games?” And the rest is history.

No Shortage Of Women’s Basketball In Connecticut

They began going to all the games at the XL Center. The following season, they decided to go to all the games at Gampel Pavilion. Earle says that she much prefers the atmosphere at Gampel Pavilion, an opinion shared by a good majority of UConn fans. She said she prefers games at Gampel because it’s much smaller and makes it a more close-knit environment for fans. Unfortunately, Earle’s client passed away in 2018. However, Earle says that every year she still buys the same two seats in Gampel in memory of her client who she loved dearly.

But women’s basketball in Connecticut doesn’t end with UConn. Earle found this out in 2019. She was invited to a Sun game at Mohegan Sun Arena and fell in love with it. Earle would go on to purchase season tickets for the 2020 season. She was unable to put those season tickets to use in 2020 for obvious reasons, but Earle has been a season ticket holder these last two seasons. Earle says she loves the energy at WNBA games, as well as the camaraderie between fans. She has courtside seats and was able to go down the entire row and name every single person who sits in her row.

Williams Shows Love

Considering she loves the energy at WNBA games, you can probably guess who her favorite Sun player is. It’s Courtney Williams. Earle was very sad when Williams was traded to the Atlanta Dream prior to the 2020 season. But she was just as happy when Williams made her return this season. Earle said that her favorite thing about Williams is her personality. She loves how personable Williams is and how she takes the time to interact with fans.

“Even if Courtney is practicing (before the game), she will come over and say hello to me. She knows her fans love her.”

This is something that many WNBA fans can relate to. While fans of the league love what the players do on the court, many fans are drawn to certain players because of who they are as people.

WNBA fans got a glimpse of Williams’ appreciation for fans like Earle, when she posted a picture of her on her Instagram story, which was later shared by WSlam.

Crochet Queen

Earle’s crocheted outfits are no joke. She said one crocheted poncho takes over fifty hours, and that’s just the poncho. She also makes hats, leg warmers, and masks to complete the outfits. Earle started crocheting to keep her wrist mobile after she injured it in a car accident. She initially would just make scarves and hats. But once she started attending games with her client, she decided to start making outfits to wear to games.

Earle says she has over twenty outfits to wear to UConn games, and at least ten for the Sun. Earle not only crochets, but she also makes t-shirts and sweat suits that she sometimes wears. She’s made t-shirts this year for many Sun players, including Jasmine Thomas, Natisha Hiedeman, and Nia Clouden. She admits that it’s often too hot during the WNBA season to wear her ponchos and sweaters. But since the college basketball season takes place during the winter, it’s the perfect time to bust them out.

Earle told the story of how she wore a Paige Bueckers sweatsuit to a UConn game at Mohegan Sun last December. Bueckers was sidelined with a knee injury at the time, but Earle still wanted to show her support for the reigning National Player of the Year. Before the game, Bueckers noticed her, and Earle said Bueckers looked amazed when she saw the outfit.

Earle poses with UConn players, Paige Bueckers and Azzi Fudd, at Mohegan Sun Arena in December 2021

Earle’s Favorites

She’s made so many outfits that it wouldn’t have been surprising for Earle to struggle picking a favorite. However, Earle said her favorite UConn outfit is her UConn poncho representing the 1995 National Championship team, which was UConn’s first championship. It has the names and numbers of all the players on the team, complete with a top hot and leg warmers with the iconic old school Jonathan the Husky logo.

Earle in her crocheted 1995 UConn National Championship poncho

As for her favorite Sun outfit, it’s of course her Courtney Williams sweater. This outfit is also completed by a hat and slippers with Williams’ face on it. Despite being a Williams fan for a few years now, this was the first season that Earle was able to wear her Williams outfit. She was thrilled to be able to grab a picture with Williams pregame while wearing it.

Earle poses for a picture with Sun player, Courtney Williams, at Mohegan Sun Arena

Earle doesn’t only make player and team specific ponchos and sweaters. Another fan favorite outfit is her Pride outfit. Since Pride Month falls during the WNBA season, Earle wears it for the Sun’s Pride Games.

Earle takes a picture with Sun mascot, Blaze, in her Pride sweater at Mohegan Sun Arena

Onward To Tampa

It’s not uncommon to see fans at games asking for pictures with Earle. It’s not an exaggeration to say she’s somewhat of a celebrity in Uncasville, Storrs, and Hartford. Earle talked about her experience from when she traveled to watch UConn play in Tampa for the 2019 Final Four. She was hesitant to wear a poncho, because of how hot it is in Florida, but she said her family encouraged her to wear one anyways.

“I got out of the Uber and I was walking to the arena, and a lot of people were stopping me saying ‘Oh my god, it’s Angel.'”

Earle said she was friends with a lot of UConn fans on Facebook, so everyone knew who she was. She said she posed for countless pictures with fans that day.

Earle in her crocheted poncho representing UConn’s historic 4-Peat National Championship run

Just A Fan Of The Game

Earle is very appreciative of the love she gets from not only the fans, but the players and Sun organization as well. Now living in New Jersey, she drives over three hours to get to Mohegan Sun Arena. She actually takes the summers off from work so that she’s able to attend all the Sun games. Now that’s dedication. Earle is featured on Sun fliers, and in a media package that’s featured on the Jumbotron. Earle says the photographers that sit on the baseline are always pointing their cameras in the direction of her and her court side seat mates.

At the end of the day, Earle described herself as a WNBA fan, not just a Sun fan. She enjoys supporting players from many different teams. Earle is planning to move soon, and when she does, she wants to have a “WNBA room”, consisting of framed, autographed jerseys from as many players as she can get. She’s accumulated a nice collection already, but is hoping to see it grow even more.

What’s Next?

Earle doesn’t plan on stopping anytime soon. She’s in this for the long haul. As a matter fact, she has a new outfit in the works. As to what it’ll look like, that’s going to be a surprise. She plans to have it done by the end of the season. So Sun fans, next time you decide a take in a game at Mohegan Sun Arena, be sure to be on the lookout for Angel Earle, sitting court side across from the Sun bench. You might just get a first look at a brand new Angel Earle special.

About Kayla Dos Santos

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