No. 1 Recruit Azzi Fudd Chooses UConn

Final choice came down to UCLA or the perennial powerhouse

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The rich get richer: Azzi Fudd, the consensus top prep player in the country, committed to the University of Connecticut on Wednesday.

“They make good players great,” said Fudd, who will be a senior at St. John’s College High School in Washington, D.C. “I realized that to reach my goals and be the player I was trying to be, UConn was the place.”

 “I do not like to make decisions,” said Azzi, “so I kind of elongated the process. Finally, I sat down and made a list of pros and cons for UCLA and UConn” – and UConn was the winner.

Azzi’s had two strong friendships that also influenced her choice: One with UConn commit Caroline Ducharme from Massachusetts and the current manager for the UConn women’s team, Colleen Koch, who also attended St. John’s.

UConn, though, was not an automatic choice. Azzi considered not only UCLA, but also Louisville and Maryland.

“It was definitely not UConn all the way,” said Katie Fudd, Azzi’s mom. “It was back and forth.”

Fudd, a 5-foot-11 guard, finally settled on the team women’s basketball fans love to hate.

Fudd was the first sophomore ever named MaxPreps’ Player of the Year, averaging 26.3 ppg in what most consider the country’s top league, the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference, but she tore her ACL prior to her junior year. The injury, however, did not dissuade recruiters, who recognized her elite all-around game.

Fudd, like many modern perimeter players, is an excellent three-point shooter and also can finish at the rim. In addition, though, Fudd can score in the mid-range, which is an increasingly effective weapon in the modern game. She also is a superb defender, an outstanding playmaker, and even a solid rebounder.

Fudd, who is named for former Stanford star Jennifer Azzi, comes from an athletic family. Her mother, Katie Smrcka-Duffy Fudd, played at Georgetown and was drafted by the Sacramento Monarchs, and her father, Tim, played at American University and then professionally overseas.

Fudd will join a young UConn team (six players are freshmen this season, and there are no seniors on the roster), but is expected to make an immediate impact in 2021-22 -- and her signing is yet another indication that, like it or not, Geno Auriemma and UConn seem destined to be national championship threats for years to come.


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