College basketball

Women’s college basketball will be without its biggest star this season as former unanimous national player of the pear Paige Bueckers of the Connecticut Huskies has been ruled out for the entire 2022-23 season after tearing her ACL in a pickup game on Monday.

Bueckers arrived at UConn as the No. 1 overall recruit in the 2020 recruiting class and absolutely lived up to the hype. During the 2020-21 season, she led the Huskies to a Final Four berth, claiming the Wooden Award and Naismith Trophy. She was also named the AP Player of the Year and the USBWA Player of the Year – all as just a true freshman.

“We’re all devastated for Paige. She’s worked really hard to get stronger and healthier this offseason, and this is an unfortunate setback,” UConn head coach Geno Auriemma said in a statement. “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. We’ll miss her presence on the court, but she’ll do everything she can to still lead and help her teammates this season. Our program will support Paige through her healing process to help her come back better and stronger.”

Bueckers has already battled a significant injury in her college career, missing 19 games last season with a tibial plateau fracture and a lateral meniscus tear. But when she returned from her injury, she led UConn to the national championship game. The Huskies will hope for a similar recovery this time.

[Connecticut Athletics]