Ashlynn Shade, the No. 5 player in the class of 2023, announced her commitment to UConn women’s basketball on Wednesday morning.
Shade was in Storrs and sat behind the Huskies’ bench during their win over Creighton on Sunday. The 5-foot-10 point guard from Noblesville, Indiana first received an offer from UConn in July and put the Huskies in her top eight alongside Indiana, Louisville, North Caroline, Notre Dame, Stanford, Tennessee and Vanderbilt in August.
“I like the history behind the school and how competitive their basketball program was and currently still is. I want to play at a high level, so I like that aspect of it,” Shade told the Indy Star about UConn in August.
In the same story, she also laid out the parameters for what she wanted in her future home. Shade’s goal was to find a school where she could be “part of a winning program with a great culture around it” with strong academics. But most importantly, she wanted a team that had a “family atmosphere.” With that criteria, it’s little surprise Shade ended up with UConn.
As a junior at Noblesville High School — arguably the top team in the state of Indiana — Shade is averaging 20.8 points, 9.1 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 3.9 steals per game. She’s regarded as a bulldog on the court despite her smaller stature and is willing to do whatever is needed to help her team win.
In November, Shade faced off against 2022 UConn signee Ayanna Patterson and finished with game-high 25 points despite being guarded by the future Husky at times. Noblesville routed Homestead, 69-48.
“(Shade’s) game has grown a lot since her freshman year. It’s crazy,” Patterson told the IndyStar postgame. “Hopefully one day she is bleeding blue at UConn. She’s a great player and I hope to play with her one day.”
Shade is the second 2023 prospect to commit to UConn, joining KK Arnold, a guard rated as the No. 8 player in the class by ESPN.