Azzi Fudd will not be entering the 2024 WNBA Draft.
Speaking with ESPN’s Rebecca Lobo, Fudd was asked point-blank if she planned on leaving UConn after the 2023-24 season. Since Fudd turns 22 in November 2024, she is eligible for that year’s WNBA Draft. The UConn guard had a definitive answer.
“I plan on staying,” she said. “Why would I want to leave the basketball capital of the world?”
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Fudd isn’t the only player to stay with her college team despite early draft eligibility.
Last year, Cameron Brink opted to forgo the WNBA Draft and stay at Stanford despite being eligible for the 2023 draft. “It’s fun, college is fun,” she said last October. “Why not stay?”
Caitlin Clark, who has an extra year of eligibility due to the COVID-19 pandemic, is undecided on her future at Iowa, though she has said that she’s going to “treat this year like this is my last year.”
“It’s really not something I think about every single day,” Clark said in early October. “It’s not something I let weigh on me. I’m focused on helping this team be the best team they can be, and when I know that decision, all of you will know. I think the biggest thing will be I’m just going to trust my gut and go with that.”
There are also questions about whether redshirt junior guard Paige Bueckers will leave for the draft. The UConn star, who missed the majority of the last two seasons due to injuries, has remained noncommittal about her future.
“I guess we’ll see,” she said when asked about her future with UConn, as CT Insider’s Maggie Vanoni reported from the first practice of the season for the Huskies.
Her answer was similar in March when asked about staying at UConn beyond 2024. She is entering her fourth season with the Huskies, but she could stay through 2026.
“There’s always a chance,” she said. “I have three more years of eligibility. I’m not declining, not saying for sure I will or for sure I won’t. But there’s definitely an opportunity for me to return for a fifth year, even maybe a sixth year.”