UConn’s Paige Bueckers back to dominating after devastating injuries

What to know about Paige Bueckers, UConn’s star who’s healthy and back to dominating ways.

It has been eight seasons since the UConn women’s basketball team won a national championship, and this season myriad of injuries have put the spotlight back on redshirt junior guard Paige Bueckers.

Bueckers was named a preseason All-American, and the Huskies were ranked in the top five of several preseason polls. After overcoming a series of injuries, Bueckers led the Huskies in scoring and blocks during the 2023-2024 regular season, and she led her team to a Big East championship.

Dec. 10: Connecticut Huskies guard Paige Bueckers celebrates during a Hall of Fame Women's Showcase game against the North Carolina Tar Heels at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut.

Here is what you need to know about UConn star Paige Bueckers:

Paige Bueckers in high school

During a prolific prep career at Hopkins High School in Minnetonka, Minnesota, Bueckers was named Gatorade National Player of the Year during her senior year after averaging 24.4 points and 5.1 assists while leading her team to the state championship. She was also named Minnesota Miss Basketball as the best player in the state and recognized as a McDonald’s All-American.

Paige Bueckers national player of the year

As one of the most touted recruits in the nation, Bueckers’ freshman season at UConn did not disappoint. She averaged 20 points, 5.8 assists, and 4.9 rebounds per game while leading the Huskies to the Final Four.

The Associated Press named her a first-team All-American, and she won AP Player of the Year, Naismith College Player of the Year and the Wooden Award as the nation’s best player.

Paige Bueckers injuries

After her freshman season, Bueckers had surgery on her bothersome right ankle but was healthy entering her sophomore campaign. In a December contest against Notre Dame, Bueckers injured her knee late in the fourth quarter, with the Huskies up by double-digits. Two months later, she returned after surgery to repair a tibial plateau fracture and meniscus tear and helped UConn get back to the Final Four, where it was defeated in the national championship game by South Carolina.

UConn's Paige Bueckers out 6-8 weeks with knee fracture - ESPN

She finished the season with averages of 14.6 points, four assists and four rebounds per game while playing in 17 games.

During a pick-up game in August, Bueckers tore the ACL in her left knee, causing her to miss the entire 2022–23 season and receive a medical redshirt. Without her, UConn advanced to the Sweet 16 in the NCAA tournament.

Paige Bueckers junior season

Fully healthy, Bueckers returned to the form of her freshman season and felt confident she could produce like she did as a freshman.

“I’m feeling much stronger. I feel more confident in my body than I ever have,” Bueckers said before the season. “When I step on the court, I feel like I’m ready for whatever the defense is going to throw at me and I know people this year are going to test me, push me around, make sure I’m really healthy, make sure my knee’s really good and use physicality as a weapon against me, so I’m ready for that.”

Bueckers led the Huskies to an undefeated conference record and was named Big East Player of the Year. She averaged 20.7 points, ranking fifth all-time in school history for a season, with 4.4 rebounds and 3.7 assists.

She announced during the Senior Night ceremony that she would return for her senior season instead of entering the WNBA draft.

“I know everybody wants me to address the elephant in the room. Unfortunately, this will … not be my last Senior Night here at UConn because I’m coming back,” Bueckers said.

UConn’s next game in NCAA Tournament

Bueckers and the Huskies picked up a No. 3 seed in the Portland Regional 3. Their first opponent will be Jackson State (26-6), whom they will play Friday, March 22 at Gampel Pavilion in Storrs, Connecticut.

The No. 1 seed in UConn’s region is Southern Cal, which they would not have to play until the regional final.

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