Paige Bueckers opens up on what it’s like to play for Geno Auriemma

Paige Bueckers chose UConn and Geno Auriemma for a reason and she wouldn’t want her basketball career to be written down in the history books any place else.

Bueckers and the Huskies fell to Iowa in the Final Four, coming up short of a national title game appearance. But Bueckers wouldn’t change a thing, other than the outcome of course.

Paige Bueckers opens up on what it's like to play for Geno Auriemma - On3

She chose UConn because of Auriemma and she’ll be a better player in the pros because of his coaching.

“To your first point, I mean, now I’ve played a full season of college basketball injury-free, very blessed. I’m grateful for that,” Bueckers said. “But, yeah, to these guys’ point, everybody comes to UConn to play for Coach. He challenges you. He believes in you. He trusts you, and he always has your back. And he’s everything you could ask for in a coach.”

Bueckers couldn’t have scripted a better time with Auriemma, a coach she always wanted to play for at this level.

“And it’s everything I dreamed of to play for him, to play for the whole coaching staff, to play in this program, to play along with people that are my sisters,” Bueckers said. “So it’s just been a dream come true.

I’m grateful that he recruited me here. He recruited everyone else around me here, because I love every single one of them. And I owe everything to this program, and I’m super grateful.”

Aaliyah Edwards echoed Bueckers’ comments following the loss to Iowa.

“Just truly grateful to be part of this program, play alongside such talented players like the ones sitting beside me and also the ones back in the locker room,” Edwards said. “It’s tough that this is my last time I share the court with all of them and the last time I play under Coach.

“It’s just no words how much the program and everyone who has supported the program has poured into me and what I’ve gotten out of it as well, but as well as how much I’ve grown not only as a player but as a person under Coach.

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And I’m just thankful for him and everybody who is a part of this program and lent a hand in my growth as a player.”

Like Bueckers and Edwards, Nika Muhl was complimentary of Auriemma and what he did to improve everyone’s basketball careers as the years progressed.

“I’m just so grateful to Coach for bringing me all the way from Croatia to here,” Muhl said. “Never in my life would I have thought that I would be here sharing this court with these amazing people, great players, great coaches, great staff and just enjoying every single moment of it. I’m pissed right now.

“It really hurts, but I know that I’ll look back onto this and I’ll feel nothing but being thankful and grateful and blessed for what I’ve built here, what kind of experiences I’ve had here because this is family for life.

And they love me when I was at my worst, when I was at my best, and it stays forever. And I’m just very grateful to have had that luck and opportunity to, you know, come all the way where I came from to this place. It’s special.”

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