Seattle Storm star Breanna Stewart reached out to UConn junior Paige Bueckers after hearing about her torn ACL, which the Huskies announced Wednesday.
Stewart, a UConn standout herself from 2012-16, offered the current Husky advice on coming back from a major injury. Stewart missed the entire 2019 WNBA season after tearing her Achilles while playing for Dynamo Kursk in the 2019 EuroLeague Women final.
She said that she was “just devastated” for Bueckers, who also missed 19 games of the 2021-22 season with a knee injury.
“Especially coming back from an injury, feeling at her best and then to be hit with another injury, I think that it’s obviously tough,” Stewart said.
The 2021 National Player of the Year, Bueckers said Wednesday that she is “trying to make sense of it all” after having worked “so hard” to get back healthy.
“It reminds me of going through injuries,” Stewart said. “It’s just gonna be her journey. It’s gonna be her story. But I reached out to her and I told her there’s going to be good days and bad days. There’s going to be ups and downs, this rollercoaster of a journey, but what’s most important is that you show up.
“You show up every day, you do rehab, and she’ll be back before she knows it.”
As Bueckers works her way back, though, UConn will have to adjust to her absence on the court. The team’s 2022-23 season begins on Nov. 10 against Northeastern.