Despite being eligible for the 2024 WNBA Draft, UConn women’s basketball junior guard Azzi Fudd told ESPN’s Rebecca Lobo that she plans to return for her senior season in Storrs.
“I plan on staying,” she says in a video that Lobo posted on her own Twitter/X account. “Why would I want to leave the basketball capital of the world?”
Fudd will turn 22 on Nov. 11, 2024, which fulfill’s the WNBA’s requirement of being 22 in the year of the draft. Her decision to stay doesn’t come as much of a surprise, though. Fudd has been spectacular when healthy, but she’s struggled to stay on the floor. A foot issue kept her out for 11 games a freshman while a pair of knee injuries sidelined her for 22 games last season.
Before Fudd went down last year, she averaged 24 points and shot 43.5 percent from three in six games while establishing herself as a frontrunner for national player of the year. She briefly returned in January but only made it six quarters before she suffered another knee injury. Fudd made it back for the start of the postseason but never regained her early-season form.
Fudd’s decision will be the first of many for some of UConn’s key players. Aaliyah Edwards, Aubrey Griffin and Nika Mühl all have the option to return for an additional season thanks to their Covid year, while Paige Bueckers has two more years of eligibility remaining.
Bueckers has remained tight-lipped on her future plans while the others haven’t been asked publicly.
“I don’t know. I guess we’ll see,” she said earlier in October. “From what I’ve learned over the past couple years, never take the future for granted. Stay in the moment, stay in the present.”
“I came here and I wanted to come here a little before NIL even started. So that really has no factor into my decision,” she added later. “It’s more just the basketball aspect and school aspect.”