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No. 1 prospect Azzi Fudd commits to UConn beside her dog named Stewie

·4-min read

UConn keeps bringing in the best talent as they look to end a championship-less skid other programs would yearn to experience.

Azzi Fudd, the consensus No. 1 in the Class of 2021 who is the only girls basketball player to win the Gatorade Player of the Year award as a sophomore, made her commitment to UConn on Wednesday.

Fudd commits with dog named Stewie

She unveiled a UConn T-shirt during the announcement on ESPN’s Instagram Live on Wednesday, her 18th birthday, and was joined by her dog in a matching shirt.

“I have a feeling we have multiple national championships in our future,” she said on Live, via the UConn Blog.

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The dog is aptly named Stewie, presumably for four-time UConn national champion Breanna Stewart. Fudd will look to help bring a championship trophy back to Hartford, Connecticut, for the first time since Stewart completed her run in 2016.

Stephen Curry, Kobe Bryant in Fudd’s corner

Azzi Fudd at a speaking engagement.
Azzi Fudd is a big get for the UConn program, which is in a championship dry spell other programs would love to have. (Meg Oliphant/Getty Images)

Fudd was 12 when she received her first scholarship offer and for years has been compared to top WNBA talent. She was one of the first girls invited to Stephen Curry’s camp for the nation’s best basketball players and beat future lottery pick Jalen Green in the 3-point contest.

The 5-foot-11 guard/forward also counted the late Kobe Bryant as a follower. She worked out with Bryant during a visit to California and watched the Mamba Academy team, featuring Gigi Bryant, play a game.

Fudd, a Washington, D.C. native, was named the city’s Gatorade Player of the Year in 2018 as a freshman. She won the national player of the year award a year later. She’s won gold medals with Team USA’s youth team at the 2017 FIBA Americas U16 championship and 2018 FIBA U17 World Cup.

Will UConn win more championships?

Fudd’s commitment makes it four No. 1 prospects in five years for UConn, the most successful title team in women’s college basketball history. Expectations are already sky-high for the 2020-21 season with Paige Bueckers, the No. 1 recruit in the Class of 2020.

The two are best friends and Bueckers shared in the celebration on Wednesday.

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The Huskies are ranked third in the Associated Press’ preseason Top 25 poll released earlier this week.

The other No. 1 commits are Christyn Williams (2018) and Megan Walker (2017). Williams, a former conference freshman of the year, was named to the Ann Meyers Drysdale Award watch list this week for the nation’s best shooting guard. Walker left early for the WNBA and was drafted No. 9 overall by the New York Liberty.

Haley Jones, the No. 1 recruit in the 2019 class, is at Stanford.

Fudd coming off knee injury

Fudd spent much of the last year and a half rehabbing a torn ACL and MCL suffered during a USA Basketball U18 3x3 tournament in April 2019. She played the final 19 games of her junior year averaging 19.2 points and 3.5 rebounds per game.

“I know that UConn will be able to push me to be the best player I can be,” she said, via ESPN.

Due to COVID-19 she hasn’t played much over the past eight months. Her mother, Katie, played at NC State and Georgetown and her father, Tim, played at American. Fudd was first offered by Maryland in June 2015, five months before turning 13 years old, and chose UConn over UCLA in the final days of her decision-making process. Part of the reason she landed on the Huskies, she told ESPN, was so that her parents and families could see more games.

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