PAIGE BUECKERS GOT NEXT. NOW!

Let’s get one thing straight: This is not a “we were first” post. Because we weren’t. This is simply a reminder for all of us to take a moment to appreciate the fact that the next sure thing in basketball – as fas as sure things go in hoops – is ascending to stardom right in front of our very own eyes.

Many people have taken note of the number 1 recruit in the class of 2020 college basketball. Some might not have, because there is a W behind the corresponding category in ESPN’s main menu. The fact of the matter is Paige Bueckers can flat out hoop. And the seats left on the hypetrain are getting scarcer with every game she plays.

Image by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

With an impressive high school career (and the first SLAM cover by a female HS baller in history, one might add) on her résumé, the Point Guard arrived at the most prestigious institution in women’s basketball: UConn. All she has done since is lead the Huskies in scoring (at almost 20 points) and assists per game while also playing the most minutes on the team, all as a true freshman.

Her outstanding play has earned Paige the honor of Big East Conference Player of the Year as well as – quiet logically – Big East Freshman Player of the Year. The last (and only other) person to accomplish both feats? Maya Moore.

Paige Bueckers on the cover of SLAM magazine #226 – Image via SLAMonline.com

The TikTok that Oregon’s Sedona Prince shared from the women’s weight room at the NCAA tournament is just the latest example of how women’s basketball (among so many other area’s) is still well entrenched in the battle for equality. And while we higly encurage you to watch the video (and subsequently get upset), we’d like to simultaneously encourage you to watch the actual games.

If this was an academic thesis, it would barely get a C. Too unoriginal. But as a statement in and of itself, it’s an A. A PSA, rather. One of the next great hoopers is getting better and better, growing her game by the day. And she’s doing it right in front of our eyes. With players like Bueckers, BSTN-fam-favorite Satou Sabally, and many more young stars in the game, there has never been a better time.

And with Iowa and Caitlin Clark on deck for UConn in the Sweet Sixteen on Saturday, March 27th, and other heavyweights including Baylor and all three other number-one seeds on the horizon, it’s time to get on board for some great basketball. The Paige train is about to leave the station!

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