The UConn women’s basketball team was dealt a large blow on Wednesday.
Star guard and former National Player of the Yr Paige Bueckers will miss the whole 2022-23 season attributable to a torn ACL in her left knee, which she sustained in a pickup game on Monday, the university announced.
“We’re all devastated for Paige,” head coach Geno Auriemma said in an announcement. “She’s worked really hard to get stronger and healthier this offseason, and that is an unlucky setback. Paige is clearly an incredible basketball player but she’s a greater person and teammate and it’s really unlucky that this has happened to her.
“We’ll miss her presence on the court, but she’ll do every part she will be able to to still lead and help her teammates this season. Our program will support Paige through her healing process to assist her come back higher and stronger.”
Bueckers had her sights set on a national championship this coming season, telling Bleacher Report that it was the one thing that might make it a hit.
“National championship, that’s it,” she said. “I don’t think you’re going to get a unique answer out of me. Attending to the Final 4 my freshman 12 months and the national championship last 12 months, the one thing left to do is win it. In order that’s the goal.”
Bueckers first turned heads with the Huskies as a freshman throughout the 2020-21 season, through which she averaged 20 points, 4.9 rebounds and 5.7 assists over 29 games. Her strong play helped propel UConn to the Final 4, however it wasn’t enough to defeat Arizona.
Still, the Minnesota native filled up the trophy case in her first season, earning the Wood Award, Naismith Trophy and AP Player of the Yr honors.
Despite losing to South Carolina within the finals, Bueckers placed on a masterful performance with 14 points and 6 rebounds.Getty
Bueckers’ sophomore 12 months got off to a powerful start, though was derailed in December after she sustained a non-contact knee injury that required surgery. She returned later within the season and averaged 14.6 points, 4 rebounds and three.9 assists en path to leading UConn to the national championship game. Despite losing to South Carolina in the ultimate, Bueckers placed on a masterful performance with 14 points and 6 rebounds.
Bueckers will undergo surgery on her knee at UConn Health on Friday.