UConn women’s basketball’s two 2023 commitments have both been named the best players in their respective states. KK Arnold earned the Wisconsin Gatorade Girls’ Basketball Player of the Year while Ashlynn Shade claimed the Indiana Gatorade Girls’ Basketball Player of the Year.
Arnold is a 5-foot-10 point guard out of Germantown, Wisconsin who committed to the Huskies back on Nov. 22. ESPN ranks her as the No. 8 prospect in the class of 2023. Arnold is known for her ability to drive to the basket and is also regarded as a physical guard that doesn’t shy away from contact.
She also won Wisconsin Gatorade Player of the Year in 2021 along with being named the AP MaxPreps Player of the Year for her home state. MaxPreps put Arnold on its All-American Second Team last year as well.
Meanwhile, Shade is a 5-foot-10 guard from Noblesville, Indiana. She committed to UConn on Jan. 12 and is the No. 5 player in the class of 2023 according to ESPN. Shade recently led Noblesville High School to its first state championship since 1987 and made a fan of Indiana Pacers’ point guard Tyrese Haliburton with 31 points, seven rebounds, five assists, and three steals in the title game.
Earlier in the state tournament, Shade’s Nobesville team ended the high school career of fellow UConn commit Ayanna Patterson, who will join the Huskies ahead of next season.
Speaking of Patterson, the 6-foot-2 forward may have missed out on Gatorade Player of the Year but she’s still picked up plenty of accolades. She was named a Naismith First Team High School All-American and is one of five finalists for the Indiana Miss Basketball Award. Patterson has already earned a spot in the McDonalds’ All-American game and was presented with her jersey on Tuesday.
Ayanna Patterson is presented with her jersey for the upcoming McDonald’s All-American game pic.twitter.com/6aAJwukQtu— Victoria Jacobsen (@Vicky_Jacobsen) March 8, 2022
UConn’s other 2022 signee, Ice Brady, will also participate in the McDonalds’ All-American game and was named a Naismith Second Team High School All-American. Shade was an honorable mention pick for the Naismith All-American teams.