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UConn women’s basketball unveils freshmen jersey numbers

The Huskies’ three newcomers officially joined the team last week and now they have their numbers.

Ian Bethune/The UConn Blog

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UConn unveils freshmen jersey numbers

Last week, UConn women’s basketball’s three freshmen finally turned from recruits to players when they arrived on campus for the start of summer workouts. On Wednesday, the team officially announced the jersey number that each one will wear this upcoming season.

As a reminder, the NCAA only allows digits 0-5, so the pool of available numbers is limited.

KK Arnold — No. 2

Total players to wear it: 5

Most recent: Autumn Chassion (2020-21)

Most notable: Ashley Valley (2001-05)

Arnold rocked No. 1 with both her high school and AAU team, but Geno Auriemma has a rule against players wearing the digit — and even if he didn’t, Paige Bueckers would probably have it anyways. As a result, the freshman went with the next closest option: No. 2.

The jersey number has a weird history at UConn. Ashley Valley was the first to wear it and Tahirah Williams picked it up as soon as the former graduated. Those are the only two who have worn it for four years. Briana Pulido had it for the final season of her career (after having 24 and 11 in her first two years), Andra Espinoza-Hunter kept it warm for a couple of months and Autumn Chassion took it during her lone campaign with the Huskies.

Safe to say Arnold has a chance to be the best player ever to wear No. 2 at UConn.

2023 commit KK Arnold looks like UConn’s next star point guard

The Huskies’ future floor general impressed during Nike Nationals last week.

Qadence Samuels — No. 4

Total players to wear it: 5

Most recent: Saylor Poffenbarger (2021)

Most notable: Moriah Jefferson (2012-16)

While Moriah Jefferson is one of Arnold’s favorite players, Samuels ends up with the point guard’s former number. The Maryland native wore No. 10 prior to UConn, though that’s currently taken by Nika Mühl.

No. 4 doesn’t have a very extensive history in Storrs, either: Jefferson is the only player who’s worn it for a four-year career.

How a last minute bid from UConn swayed 2023 commit Qadence Samuels from Miami

The 6-foot-2 wing out of Maryland almost committed to the University of Miami before the Huskies came calling.

Ashlynn Shade — No. 12

Total players to wear it: 6

Most recent and most notable: Saniya Chong (2013-17)

Even though UConn has a Brady on the roster, No. 12 was still available for Shade. She wore it both at Noblesville High School and with her AAU squad, but had to switch to 22 when she transferred to La Lumiere for her senior season.

Of the jersey numbers selected by the freshmen, No. 12 had sat unused the longest. Saniya Chong last wore it back in 2017 — six years ago. Besides her, there aren’t many notable players who have donned the digits: Barbara Carter, Nicole Woodall, Marci Glenney, Stacey Marron and Lauren Engeln are the other five.

Recruiting: Ashlynn Shade is a perfect fit for UConn

The Huskies’ 2023 commit had a record-tying performance in the state title game on Saturday.

Jana El Alfy — No. 24

Total players to wear it: 9

Most recent: Anna Makurat (2019-21)

Most notable: Kerry Bascom (1987-1991), Napheesa Collier (2015-19)

El Alfy isn’t a newcomer after joining the team in January, but she’ll still be a freshman this upcoming season.

She already has high expectations after Geno Auriemma predicted she’ll be the first Arabic speaker to play in the WNBA, but her jersey number comes with some pressure as well. Two of the best post players in program history — Kerry Bascom and Napheesa Collier — wore No. 24.

El Alfy wore No. 8 for Team Egypt (and even had it photoshopped onto a UConn jersey when she revealed her top 10 schools). Since the NCAA doesn’t allow the digit, she picked No. 24 (perhaps because 2 × 4 = 8?), a number she wore with the NBA Academy at one point.

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Crystal Dangerfield returned to Connecticut: