Basketball world reacts to Paige Bueckers’ season-ending ACL injury

(Benjamin Solomon/Getty Images)

In the hours after UConn announced Wednesday that junior guard Paige Bueckers will miss the upcoming season with a torn ACL, people across the women’s sports world reacted with messages of support.

Bueckers will be sidelined for significant time for the second straight season, after she had ankle surgery last offseason and suffered a tibial plateau fracture in her left knee in early December. The 20-year-old returned in February and helped UConn advance to the NCAA championship game, where they lost to No. 1 South Carolina.

Iowa junior Caitlin Clark, who was named Co-Freshman of the Year with Bueckers in 2021, tweeted that she was praying for Bueckers and called her “someone who is so good for our game!”

“Can’t wait to see you come back even stronger,” Clark added.

South Carolina head coach Dawn Staley said: “May God be the way maker he is to walk with Paige throughout her surgery, recovery, rehab and her future. Stay faithful, Paige.”

Chicago Sky guard and 2021 WNBA Finals MVP Kahleah Copper expressed sympathy on Twitter.

“I hate injuries! I’m so sorry Paige,” she wrote.

The Big East also shared a statement Wednesday. UConn has won the Big East regular season and tournament titles the past two seasons after returning to the conference in 2020.

“To say that we are heartbroken would be an understatement,” read the statement. “We want you to know we’re rooting for you every day and know you will come back stronger than ever.”

UConn teammate Dorka Juhász, who had surgery in March for a left wrist fracture she suffered in the Huskies’ Elite Eight game, echoed the love the team sent Bueckers’ way.

As a freshman in 2021, Bueckers won AP Player of the Year and Naismith College Player of the Year. The former No. 1 recruit wrote on Instagram Wednesday that she is optimistic about making “one hell of a comeback.”