11 Nov Brady, Patterson sign up with Huskies | UConn Women’s Basketball
Isuneh “Ice” Brady became the earliest recruit to announce her commitment to the UConn women’s basketball team when she did so three months into her sophomore year at Cathedral Catholic High in California.
Twenty-three months later, the 6-foot-3 forward from San Diego became the latest to sign a National Letter of Intent with the Huskies, doing so in a ceremony at her school Wednesday.
Wednesday was the first day of the fall signing period.
UConn also received a signed Letter of Intent from its other Class of 2022 recruit Ayanna Patterson. The 6-2 wing from Fort Wayne, Indiana committed to the Huskies in March.
“During the recruiting period for this class, we set out to find a couple bigs who could play multiple positions,” UConn coach Geno Auriemma said in a statement. “I think we found the two best in the country in Ayanna and Ice. As a tandem, I think they’re going to give us exactly what we were looking for.”
Patterson is rated the No. 4 recruit in the Class of 2022 by ESPN while Brady checks in at No. 5.
The duo made their official visits to Storrs last month. On Wednesday, they were both named to the Naismith Trophy high school watch list.
Brady averaged 16,3 points and 12.7 rebounds in 23 games as a junior at Cathedral Catholic, according to MaxPreps. She was an all-CIF first-team selection and the 2020-21 San Diego Sports Association CIF Player of the Year. Her career averages over 84 games are 17.8 points and 12.3 rebounds.
“With Ice, you have the classic power player who can step out and make a perimeter shot,” Auriemma said. “She can handle the ball at the high post and is a very good passer.”
Patterson averaged 22 points and 11 rebounds as a junior at Homestead High in Fort Wayne. She was the ABC21 and the Outside the Huddle Player of the Year.
She attended USA Basketball’s U-19 national team trials in May. In August she was named to the four-player roster that represented Team USA at the 2021 FIBA 3×3 U-18 World Cup in Hungary. Patterson, Georgia commit Janiah Barker, UCLA commit Kiki Rice, and Class of 2023 guard Mikaylah Williams won the gold medal by defeating Spain in the final.
“What’s most impressive about Ayanna is her incredible athletic ability and the places she can get to on the court,” Auriemma said. “Offensively and defensively, I think she’s going to have a huge impact right away because those were two things we needed to address.”
UConn has had more than its share of success at Georgetown’s McDonough Arena. The Huskies have beaten the Hoyas 15 straight times at their on-campus home dating back to 1992, including 70-57 last season. UConn also won the 1991 Big East tournament title there.
So Georgetown will try its luck against the Huskies in a different building.
The school announced Wednesday it will host the Huskies at Entertainment & Sports Arena, home of the WNBA’s Washington Mystics, on Jan. 5. The arena is located in Southeast, Washington, D.C.
“We are so excited to be playing in a WNBA arena here in the District,” Georgetown coach James Howard said in a statement. “We can’t wait to pack the house with Hoya supporters and to develop some new women’s basketball fans from a different part of the city. This is a great opportunity for us to showcase what the Big East has to offer.”
Entertainment & Sports Arena opened in 2018. The 4,200-seat arena is home to the Mystics, the Capital City Go-Go of the NBA G League, and Colonial Athletic Association man’s tournament. It is also the training facility for the NBA Washington Wizards.
Tickets will be available on Ticketmaster.com starting Nov. 18 at 10 a.m. with an exclusive presale for Hoya supporters starting on Tuesday.
Providence announced earlier that the Friars will host the Huskies at the downtown Dunkin’ Donuts Center Jan. 30.
Paige Bueckers has her first name, image and likeness deal.
The UConn sophomore guard and reigning Big East and national Player of the Year has signed a three-year partnership with StockX as a brand ambassador, the company announced Wednesday.
“It really hasn’t sunk in,” Bueckers said in an interview on the company website. “StockX has great ideas, I have great ideas, and I’m glad that we’re able to come together.”
StockX describes itself as “not your typical e-commerce website” and as “a live marketplace for buying and selling limited edition sneakers, watches, handbags, and streetwear.” The Detroit-based company was founded by Dan Gilbert, Josh Luber, Greg Schwartz, and Chris Kaufman in 2015.
“I’m excited for the opportunity,” Bueckers said, “Not just for myself, but for everyone. I think it’s been a long time coming.”
Also Wednesday, BioSteel Sports Nutrition Inc. announced an NIL deal with UConn freshman Azzi Fudd, as its first collegiate basketball athlete brand partner. She joins BioSteel’s list of elite ambassadors that include Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, Dallas Mavericks forward Luka Doncic, and Christen Press of the U.S. women’s soccer team.
“Being able to team up with BioSteel and having clean and sugar-free options, I am really excited about what this partnership will do for my hydration routine,” Fudd said in a statement. “I also believe in the mission and values of the company and the people at BioSteel who are supporting me.”
Last month, Fudd and Georgia softball player Jaiden Fields joined Chipotle as ambassador for its “Real Food for Real Athletes” platform. Fudd is also appearing in a commercial for TikTok.
UConn opens the regular season Sunday against Arkansas at the XL Center.
UConn placed five players — 2021 winner Bueckers, Fudd, Aaliyah Edwards, Olivia Nelson-Ododa, and Christyn Williams — on the 50-player Wooden Award watch list. 2021 winner Bueckers, Williams, Nelson-Ododa and Fudd were on the 50-player Naismith Trophy watch list. Bueckers, Williams, and Nelson-Ododa were on the 30-player Wade Trophy watch list. Freshmen are not eligible to win the Wade Trophy … Former UConn All-American and assistant coach Shea Ralph was a winner in her first game as a head coach Tuesday as Vanderbilt defeated Gardner-Webb 75-59 at Memorial Gym in Nashville.
For coverage of all sports in the JI’s 18-town coverage area, plus updates on the UConn women’s basketball team and head coach Geno Auriemma, follow Carl Adamec on Twitter: @CarlAdamec, Facebook: Carl Adamec, and Instagram: @CarlAdamec.
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