STORRS, Conn. — UConn’s women’s basketball program announced devastating news Wednesday that will undoubtedly change the course of its 2022-23 season.
Superstar shooting guard Paige Bueckers suffered a torn ACL in her left knee during a casual basketball game Monday. She will be out for the upcoming season, according to a team press release.
Bueckers, the former Hopkins High phenom, underwent an MRI Monday night to confirm the injury. He will undergo surgery on Friday at UConn Health. An update on the timeline of his recovery after the procedure will be shared.
“We are all devastated for Paige,” UConn coach Geno Auriemma said. “She’s worked really hard to get stronger and healthier this offseason, and this is an unfortunate setback. Paige is obviously an amazing basketball player, but she’s a better person and teammate and it’s really unfortunate that this has happened to her.” .
“Her presence on the court will be missed, but she will do everything she can to lead and help her teammates this season. Our program will support Paige through her healing process to help her come back better and stronger.”
The news is a huge blow to the Huskies, who were plagued by injuries and COVID-19 issues across nearly the entire roster last season. That included Bueckers, who missed 19 games after suffering an anterior tibial plateau fracture and a lateral meniscus tear in the same left knee. He underwent surgery on December 13, but returned to action on February 25 and led the Huskies to the Final Four in Minneapolis; they lost in the championship game to South Carolina.
He still led the team with averages of 14.6 points, 4.0 assists, 3.9 assists, and 1.5 steals per game.
Bueckers had committed to staying at Storrs through the summer to get stronger and avoid injury.
“It’s so crazy because you work so hard to get healthy again, you feel stronger than ever and you’re playing your best basketball and with one sudden move everything changes,” Bueckers posted on Instagram. “It’s hard trying to make sense of it all right now, but I can’t help but think that God is using me as a testament to how much you can overcome with Him by your side. A major surgery might need this P story, because it’s going to be a huge comeback.” .
“There will be good days and bad days, but my absolute love of the game and the strength of God will get me back to where I need to be. I have worked too hard for the little boy in these photos.” To keep going for the dreams I’ve had since I first picked up the ball, so why would I stop now?
After reaching the national championship game last year despite injuries to Bueckers, Azzi Fudd (foot), Dorka Juhász (wrist), Caroline Ducharme (hip) and several others, the UConn players were confident in their ability to win it. all this upcoming season with a healthy roster. Those aspirations completely change now.
Bueckers became the first freshman in women’s college basketball history to win the Wooden Award, Naismith Trophy, AP Player of the Year, and USBWA Player of the Year honors in 2020-21. She averaged 20 points, 5.8 assists, 4.9 rebounds, and 2.3 steals per game that year.