November 11, 2020
ALERT: Top 2021 recruit Azzi Fudd commits to UConn
The former Gatorade Player of the Year joins fellow high-profile 2021 prospects Ducharme, DeBerry, 2020 recruit Bueckers in Storrs
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It’s been an unconventional high school career for Azzi Fudd, the top-rated recruit in the Class of 2021. But she followed form of many top-ranked players who came before her, announcing Wednesday she was committing to the University of Connecticut.
“My college decision: this recruiting process has been crazy. It’s a blessing to decide what college I want to go to,” Fudd said in an Instagram Wednesday. “I’ve decided that I will be attending, the next four years, the University of Connecticut.”
Fudd first hit the national radar during her sophomore year, when she won the 2018-19 Gatorade National Girls Basketball Player of the Year.
“I turn the corner [at school] and all my teammates, my coaches, my family were there and they all yelled, ‘Surprise!’” Fudd told Sports Illustrated after winning the award, becoming the first sophomore ever to do so. “Elena Delle Donne was standing there with the trophy and I was so shocked. The first thing that went through my head was just ‘What is going on?’”
Another shock came two months later, as Fudd tore her ACL and MCL during a USA Basketball 3×3 tournament. The injury kept her out for most of her junior season.
Fudd announced in October that she had narrowed down her nationwide pool of offers to UConn, Maryland, UCLA and Louisville. But the Huskies always seemed to be the path for Fudd, especially as many of her contemporaries made the same decision.
Paige Bueckers, for one. The No. 1 overall prospect in the 2020 class has known Fudd since 2017, when the two met at that summer’s USA Basketball U16 trials. They became good friends, so it’s unsurprising to learn they like each other enough to spend even more time together on the court.
“I know her game better than anybody else knows her game, so I would rather be on a person’s team that knows my game than playing against them, you know?” Bueckers told ESPN in July.
Said Fudd, “I love playing with [Bueckers], but she’s also a lot of fun to play against. So I feel like it’s a win-win situation wherever I go.”
Already committed to the Huskies from the 2021 class include No. 5 overall recruit Caroline Ducharme, No. 15 Amari DeBerry and No. 30 Saylor Poffenbarger. With the addition of Fudd, they form one of the most formidable incoming classes in the country.
With this decision made, though, Fudd has another goal she’d like to hit first. While St. John’s College High School won their fifth straight District of Columbia State Academic Association title last season with her help, they came up short in the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference — their first non-title-winning season since 2017.
D.C. high schools haven’t yet started athletics, and won’t until January. But Fudd still sees a WCAC title in her future.
“I do not plan on losing. I plan on winning everything,” Fudd told NBC Sports Washington. “I’m so excited for this year, excited to play with the younger girls and teach them some stuff. People still think St. John’s is down, but I plan on surprising those people.”
And after a decision that many saw coming for so long, why not add one last shock to the mix?