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Paige Bueckers tears her ACL and won’t play next season, UConn says

UConn Huskies guard Paige Bueckers #5 drives past NC State Wolfpack guard Diamond Johnson #0 as the UConn Huskies take on the NC State Wolfpack in the NCAA Elite 8 at Total Mortgage Arena in Bridgeport, Connecticut March 28, 2022.
Joe Amon
Connecticut Public
UConn Huskies guard Paige Bueckers (5) drives past NC State Wolfpack guard Diamond Johnson during the NCAA Elite 8 matchup at Total Mortgage Arena in Bridgeport, Connecticut, March 28, 2022.

The University of Connecticut says Paige Bueckers, the 2020-21 AP Women’s Player of the Year, tore her anterior cruciate ligament – ACL – and won’t play next season.

According to the school, Bueckers hurt her left knee in a pickup basketball game Monday night.

“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,” head coach Geno Auriemma said in a statement emailed to Connecticut Public. “We’ll miss her presence on the court, but she’ll do everything she can to still lead and help her teammates this season.”

Bueckers is a star on and off the court. She’s the first college athlete ever endorsed by Gatorade. Last season, she led her team to the national championship game, scoring 15 points per game in the NCAA Tournament.

Bueckers led the team in points per game for the season despite missing 19 games due to a leg fracture.

The school says she’ll have surgery Friday to repair the ligament.

Bueckers posted on Instagram after the announcement that she’ll have “one hell of a comeback."

Frankie Graziano is the host of The Wheelhouse, focusing on how local and national politics impact the people of Connecticut.

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