UConn women’s basketball is making a late addition to its 2022-23 roster. On Friday, the team announced Portuguese point guard Inês Bettencourt (pronounced ee-NEDGE bet-ten-QUART) as its newest player, providing much-needed depth in the backcourt following Paige Bueckers’ season-ending knee injury. Bettencourt was originally committed to play at Northwest Florida, a junior college, before flipping to UConn. She’ll wear No. 21.
“Inês is a true point guard. She loves to distribute the ball and can make shots,” Geno Auriemma said in a release. “She’s used to playing in the European style of ball movement, ball screens, lots of 2-man game, 3-man game. I think she’s a tough kid and a great competitor. I’m thrilled that we were able to find her.”
“Being a UConn Husky is a dream come true,” Bettencourt said. “I’m extremely excited to start this adventure and give my all in blue and white.”
A native of São Miguel, Azores — an autonomous region of Portugal — the 17-year-old Bettencourt is listed at 5-foot-9 out and played for the U18 Portuguese national team at the Women’s U18 Euros B Division championship this summer. She averaged 14.4 points, 3.7 rebounds and 3.6 assists in the tournament as Portugal made a run to the finals but ultimately fell to Slovenia.
On the club side, Bettencourt most recently played for Clube União Sportiva in São Miguel.
When Bueckers went down with a torn ACL, UConn was left with just four guards: Junior Nika Mühl, sophomores Caroline Ducharme and Azzi Fudd, and grad transfer Lou Lopez Sénéchal. Bettencourt will give the Huskies another body in the backcourt — similar to 2019, when the team only had Crystal Dangerfield, Molly Bent, and Christyn Williams so it added Anna Makurat from Poland.
Bettencourt is the fifth international player on UConn’s roster, joining Aaliyah Edwards (Canada), Nika Mühl (Croatia), Lou Lopez Sénéchal (France) and Dorka Juhász (Hungary).