Paige Bueckers Mar 25, 2024; Storrs, Connecticut, USA; UConn Huskies guard Paige Bueckers (5) reacts after her basket against the Syracuse Orange in the second half at Harry A. Gampel Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

The sensational Paige Bueckers is the star of the Connecticut Huskies women’s basketball team. Over the past few seasons, she’s been one of the best players in the country and has earned her star status. She might have gained plenty of new fans after an interesting moment occurred following the Elite Eight on Monday night.

Bueckers and the Huskies defeated Juju Watkins and the USC Trojans to advance to the program’s 23rd Final Four. The UConn women are not new to success, so Monday’s win was business as usual. Bueckers scored 28 points in the win over USC to lift the Huskies to Cleveland.

Bueckers received a lot of attention after the game and shortly after because of the accomplished hooper’s decision to balk at a cliched photoshoot.

While the UConn superstar posed with the trophy, a photographer appeared to want to recreate a famous pose legendary basketball player Kobe Bryant made several years ago. Bueckers decided to respectfully decline. After she got up, she could be heard saying, “It ain’t me, dog. That’s Kobe.”

Bueckers declined that photo op as “unusual” as it’s proved to be a cliche opportunity for basketball players over the years to pose. Recently, Caitlin Clark leaned into the bit and recreated that photoshoot also. But the problem comes with the origin of that famous photo.

It’s been explained that Bryant took that photo after his parents opted not to attend his wedding and after his father decided not to attend any game in the 2001 NBA Finals. Bryant’s Los Angeles Lakers played the Philadelphia 76ers in Bryant’s hometown of Philadelphia, where he attended Lower Merion High School. So some have claimed recreating the photo is insensitive.

Bueckers’ decision not to be photographed like that earned her some new fans, it appears, as many voiced their approval over her decision.

[Yahoo! Sports]

About Chris Novak

Chris Novak has been talking and writing about sports ever since he can remember. Previously, Novak wrote for and managed sites in the SB Nation network for nearly a decade from 2013-2022