UConn forward Azura Stevens has decided to forego her final year of NCAA eligibility and enter the WNBA Draft, per a release from the school.
“I’d like to thank the coaches, my teammates and the fans at the University of Connecticut for helping me grow and supporting me as a player,” Stevens said. “I will miss this program and all that it has been to me. It’s been a lifelong dream for me to play in the WNBA, and I’m excited for this opportunity God has presented me with.”
Stevens came to UConn as a transfer from Duke after her sophomore season. She sat out the 2016-17 season per transfer rules and then made an immediate impact for the Huskies as a redshirt junior, appearing in all 37 games, starting eight, and averaging 14.7 points and 7.4 rebounds per game.
“We wish Azurá nothing but the best and we’re going to be there to support her in any way we can,” head coach Geno Auriemma said. “Z and her family have given this a lot of thought and feel this is the right time to pursue this.”
Stevens, a North Carolina native, won a number of American Athletic Conference honors, including Newcomer of the Year, Sixth Person of the Year, and Most Outstanding Player in the conference tournament. She was slated to start for the Huskies next year and figured to be a key part of the team. Now that she’s decided to go pro, UConn will be looking for someone to replace her production.
Stevens is certainly an interesting professional prospect. At 6-foot-6 and just beginning to scratch the surface of her potential, she can and should continue to improve and become a factor at the next level.
Hearst CT Media’s Jeff Jacobs is reporting that Auriemma was “surprised” that Stevens declared for the WNBA Draft.