Paige Bueckers’s AP Diary: finding prepared for March Madness

STORRS, Conn. (AP) — I’ve normally been a fan of March Madness.

Increasing up I keep in mind watching UConn personal it. Confident, I keep in mind Stewie (Breanna Stewart) winning 4 in a row, but my initial memory was when Stefanie Dolson helped the Huskies win. She was my preferred UConn player increasing up.

Rapid forward to the final handful of years exactly where I’ve in fact got to encounter playing in it myself. It may well not have been the norm with my initial year getting in the San Antonio bubble since of COVID and final season I was coming back from injury, but it really is an astounding feeling to play on the game’s largest stage.

You function so challenging as a competitor to play in this and win at the finish of the season.

As several of you know this year I am out recovering from a torn ACL injury that I suffered more than the summer time. I’ve been functioning challenging more than the final six-to-seven months on rehabbing. There is nonetheless a techniques to go, but every single day I am finding sturdy and healthier. I’ve been capable to do far more basketball drills in the course of practice, but nonetheless am a bit way from get in touch with.

I’ve trusted my faith and know that God does almost everything for a explanation and that is helped me by means of this. Even even though I can not play I’ve identified other techniques to assist the group. You do not see specific factors when you happen to be playing and I’ve broken factors down on the bench providing strategies right here and there. I’d rather be “Player P” than “Coach P” but now I do what I can to assist us win.

I discovered final year by no means take something for granted when I went down with an injury and was fortunate sufficient to come back and play in my hometown of Minneapolis for the Final 4.

The season is extended and grueling and some individuals get tired and I remind them that they are blessed to play basketball and play right here at UConn.

I also know that I can nonetheless be a good part model for youngsters though I am not playing. I keep in mind when I was young attempting to get Maya Moore or Lindsay Whalen’s signature and how specific that produced me really feel. Anytime I am at games, I take a handful of minutes and take selfies with individuals and sign autographs.

I can also be a part model in other techniques. My injury is sadly also typical in women’s basketball and there are several other folks who have gone by means of it. It is a extended approach and I hope my recovery can assist inspire other folks to maintain their faith and continue to function challenging to get back healthier.

Definitely we have a single purpose in thoughts and that is winning a championship, but associate head coach Chris Dailey does a wonderful job of assisting us have enjoyable, also.

The other evening we had dinner at Coach’s (Geno Auriemma’s) restaurant and played a mystery game with a pajama celebration theme exactly where we had to figure out who the “Riddler” was. Absolutely everyone on the group was assigned a part and coach was on the side not playing, but stirring the pot attempting to distract everybody.

There is no doubt that Amari (DeBerry) and Aaliyah (Edwards) had been the most committed to their roles and costumes.

Of course Azzi (Fudd) was the culprit we had to guess. It was a enjoyable evening.

CD puts these factors collectively to assist us get out of our apartments exactly where we devote most of the day watching basketball. Of course that is half the enjoyable of March Madness — watching all the games. We’re specifically excited to watch our men’s group play.

Till subsequent time, go Huskies!


UConn Huskies star Paige Bueckers is checking in periodically in the course of the NCAA Tournament. She’s nonetheless recovering from an ACL injury.


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