By John Fanta
FOX Sports activities School Basketball Author
Paige Bueckers’ 19-game absence this previous season felt like a intestine punch for her, UConn and all of faculty basketball.
On Wednesday afternoon, it was a sense of absolute heartbreak.
Connecticut introduced Bueckers will miss the 2022-2023 season with a torn ACL.
Maybe one of the best participant, and definitely the individual with the largest model in girls’s school basketball, will likely be sidelined for what was presupposed to be her junior season. It’s beautiful to consider, and a nightmare for Bueckers, who spent this previous season having to beat a tibial plateau fracture and lateral meniscus tear that sidelined her for 19 video games.
She returned to the lineup for the Huskies in February, main them to a Massive East Event crown and all the way in which to the nationwide title recreation, solely to come back up quick towards South Carolina.
The pure objective for the Huskies heading into 2022-23? Like yearly, win a nationwide championship. However that mission had by no means felt fairly like the sensation of unfinished enterprise and an inevitable vibe that it was a matter of when, not if, Bueckers would climb the mountaintop in girls’s school hoops.
The sharp distinction is actuality: We received’t get to see Bueckers in motion this yr. That is past devastating for Connecticut, the Massive East and school basketball.
The harm was suffered throughout a pickup recreation Monday, with the torn ACL coming to the identical left knee that Bueckers had surgical procedure on this previous season when she missed over two months of motion.
UConn coach Geno Auriemma issued the next assertion:
“We’re all devastated for Paige. She’s labored actually laborious to get stronger and more healthy this offseason, and that is an unlucky setback. Paige is clearly an incredible basketball participant, however she’s a greater individual and teammate, and it is actually unlucky that this has occurred to her. We’ll miss her presence on the court docket, however she’ll do all the things she will be able to to nonetheless lead and assist her teammates this season. Our program will help Paige by way of her therapeutic course of to assist her come again higher and stronger.”
Bueckers will bear surgical procedure Friday on the UConn Well being hospital.
John Fanta is a nationwide school basketball broadcaster and author for FOX Sports activities. He covers the game in a wide range of capacities, from calling video games on FS1 to serving as lead host on the BIG EAST Digital Community to offering commentary on The Discipline of 68 Media Community. Comply with him on Twitter @John_Fanta.
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