The latest ESPN Cover Story featuring future UConn guard Azzi Fudd debuted today across the network’s digital, linear and social platforms. ESPN Cover Story is the sports fan’s monthly ticket to the biggest stories on the most captivating athletes – told with inside access, bold reporting and unforgettable visuals.
At just 18 years old, Azzi Fudd is considered the best women’s basketball prospect the game has seen in decades. She has wowed everyone from two-time NBA MVP Stephen Curry to two-time WNBA MVP Elena Delle Donne and, along the way, became the first sophomore in history to be named Gatorade’s National Basketball Player of the Year.
In April of 2019, at the peak of her recruitment, Fudd tore her ACL and MCL during a USA Basketball 3-on-3 tournament, crumbling to the hardwood as her knee cracked and buckled beneath her. But it was merely the first loss in a two-year stretch full of sorrow. She lost friends and loved ones. She was forced to heal from her devastating injury alone, isolated by a ravaging pandemic, which then ripped away her senior season, her victory lap to one of the most heralded high school careers in history. Most of all, she was robbed of an identity, of a certainty: that when she steps on to the floor, she’s unquestionably and undeniably the best player there.
Fudd would spend the next 21 months rehabbing from perhaps the most devastating knee injury in all of sports, trying to remind the basketball world why she had received her first Division I offer in sixth grade — and why she’s been the consensus top recruit in the 2021 class every minute since.
For this ESPN Cover Story, reporter Katie Barnes spoke with Fudd about the pressure that comes with expectations and the struggle to return to form.
Read ESPN Cover Story: Azzi Fudd here.
Watch ESPN Cover Story: Azzi Fudd here.
The ESPN Cover Story: Azzi Fudd video feature will air across SportsCenter throughout the day, along with a full digital package on the ESPN app and original storytelling across social.
More information on ESPN Cover Story can be found here.