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UConn star Paige Bueckers, an expected lottery pick in the 2024 WNBA Draft, announced on Friday that she will return to school for the 2024-25 season. Bueckers broke the news after putting up 21 points and eight assists in the Huskies' dominant 85-44 win over Georgetown on senior night. 

"I can't put into words what this program has meant to me, what you guys have meant to me, the best student section in the country," Bueckers said. "Thank you guys. Obviously, these four years didn't go how I planned or how I wanted it to go, but I wouldn't trade it for the world. I wouldn't be able to get through what I went through without everybody here, so thank you to the best fans in the country.

"I know everybody wants me to address the elephant in the room. Unfortunately, this will not be my last senior night at UConn. I'm coming back. Thank you guys, we love you. We still need your support the rest of the season, and we'll see you soon."

Bueckers won multiple national high school player of the year awards, and was the No. 1 ranked recruit in her class. She arrived in Storrs with high expectations, and fulfilled them immediately by winning Naismith Player of the Year in 2021 as she led UConn to the Final Four. 

Since then, however, Bueckers has been plagued by injuries that have limited her to just 44 games. She underwent ankle surgery after her freshman season, suffered a tibial plateau fracture and torn meniscus early in her sophomore season and tore her ACL just ahead of her junior season. She took a medical redshirt in 2022-23 and sat out that entire season. 

Bueckers was cleared to return to action ahead of this season, and has been terrific, averaging 20 points, 4.6 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 2.2 steals on 54.1/44.1/83.8 shooting splits. This time around, however, her teammates have been the ones on the injured list, and, as a result, the Huskies do not look like national title contenders. 

While Bueckers would likely be the No. 3 pick, at worst, in this year's WNBA draft, it's clear she has unfinished business at UConn. She's eligible to return for a fifth season because of her redshirt, and in fact could use the COVID eligibility extension to play a sixth season in college, if she wanted. Though, at the very least, UConn fans can expect to her suiting up come next season.