UConn women’s basketball made a splash at the start of the early signing period, landing 6-foot-4 Egyptian forward Jana El Alfy. She’ll join guards KK Arnold, Qadence Samuels, and Ashlynn Shade in the Huskies’ 2023.
A native of Cairo, El Alfy picked UConn over Cincinnati, Duke, Maryland, Michigan, NC State, Louisville, Oregon, UCLA, and UNC. She visited the Huskies back in September and was spotted with the team at a Connecticut Sun game.
“I think the skills Jana has are skills that translate well into the way basketball is played today,” Geno Auriemma said in a release. “She’s a big kid who’s athletic and can play on the perimeter. She can score, she can rebound. She’s played a lot of basketball growing up. Her father is the national team coach, so she really understands the game. There’s an understanding from everyone of where Jana wants to go and what Jana wants to be. She wants to set an example for all the young girls not just in Egypt but in all of Africa.”
“She’ll be the first, I think, Arabic speaking-woman to ever play in the WNBA,” he said during the 97.9 ESPN Coaches’ Show on Wednesday.
El Alfy’s father is Ehab El Alfy, the head coach of the Egyptian women’s national team and former professional player. She participated in the 2022 FIBA U18 African Championship with Egypt, averaging 24.7 points, 11.5 rebounds, and 2.5 assists per game. The year before, El Alfy led her country to gold at the U17 African Championship.
This past summer, she participated in a Basketball Without Borders event in Cairo, which is organized by the NBA and FIBA. El Alfy was taken with the first pick of the BWB draft by Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr and earned MVP honors.
El Alfy is the fourth player in UConn’s 2023 recruiting class and the lone member of the frontcourt. She’ll join Arnold (No. 6 in ESPN’s 2023 rankings), Shade (No. 15), and Samuels (No. 41) as a freshman next fall.