STORRS, Conn. — The UConn women’s basketball program announced shocking news Wednesday that will undoubtedly change the course of its 2022-23 season.
Superstar guard Paige Bueckers suffered a torn ACL in her left knee during a pick-up basketball game on Monday. She will be out for the upcoming season, according to a team news release.
Bueckers, a former Hopkins High phenom, underwent an MRI Monday afternoon to confirm the injury. She will undergo surgery on Friday at UConn Health. An update on the timeline for her recovery will be shared after the procedure.
“We’re all devastated for Paige,” UConn coach Geno Auriemma said. “She’s worked really hard to get stronger and healthier this past season, and this is a tough problem. Paige is obviously a great basketball player but she’s a better person and teammate and very sorry that this happened to her.
“We will miss her presence on the court, but she will do everything she can to lead and help her fellow players this season. Our program will support Paige through the healing process to help her come back better and stronger.”
The news is a big blow for the Huskies, who were burdened with injuries and COVID-19 issues almost 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. She 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 final to South Carolina.
She still led the team with averages of 14.6 points, 4.0 assists, 3.9 assists and 1.5 steals per game.
Buekers committed to staying in Storrs for the summer to get stronger to prevent injury.
“It’s so crazy because you work so hard to get back healthy, you feel stronger than ever, and you’re playing your best basketball and with one sudden movement it all changes,” Buekers 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 evidence of what you can overcome with Him by your side. Some little child who tore a ACL or had them.this story P might need major surgery, because it’s going to be a hell of a back.
“There will be good days and there will be bad days but my absolute love for the game and God’s strength will get me back to where I need to be. I’ve worked too hard for the little kid in these pictures to keep going I’ve had dreams since I first picked up the ball, so why stop now?
After reaching the national championship final last year despite injuries to Buekers, Azzi Fudd (leg), Dorka Juhász (back), Caroline Ducharme (hip) and more, the UConn players were confident in their ability to win it this coming season. healthy roster. Those wishes change completely now.
Buekers became the first freshman in women’s college basketball history to earn the Wood Award, Naismith Trophy, AP Player of the Year and USBWA Players of the Year in 2020-21. She averaged 20 points, 5.8 assists, 4.9 rebounds and 2.3 steals per game that year.