UConn’s Aaliyah Edwards to bypass final year, enter WNBA draft

Alexa Philippou, ESPNMar 21, 2024, 07:03 PM ET

CloseCovers women’s college basketball and the WNBA
Previously covered UConn and the WNBA Connecticut Sun for the Hartford Courant
Stanford graduate and Baltimore native with further experience at the Dallas Morning News, Seattle Times and Cincinnati Enquirer

UConn Huskies senior Aaliyah Edwards announced her intention to forgo her final year of eligibility and enter the 2024 WNBA draft on social media Thursday.

Edwards, a 6-foot-3 forward, is a projected first-round pick in next month’s draft. She is currently projected by ESPN’s Michael Voepel to go No. 5 overall to the Dallas Wings. Edwards, a senior, could have used her COVID-19 eligibility waiver for one final season.

“Although got to savor every moment because this is my last jam at UConn, I’m all in, ready to bring that championship glory back to Storrs with my squad by my side,” Edwards said in her announcement video. “Let’s have one last dance.”

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A three-year starter for the Huskies, Edwards helped UConn make the Final Four in 2021 and 2022, including a national title game appearance in the latter. This season, she is averaging 17.8 points (on 59.4% shooting) and 9.3 rebounds per game, with those marks ranking second and first for the team, respectively.

Edwards was named a third-team All-American by the USBWA and The Associated Press in 2023, while this season was tabbed to the second-team by the USBWA and was an honorable mention by the AP.

On the international stage, she was part of Canada’s 2020 Olympic squad. As a prospect out of Ontario, Edwards was part of a stellar senior class for the Huskies also featuring Paige Bueckers, the No. 1 overall recruit at the time, and Croatian product Nika Muhl. Muhl has announced this season will also be her last in Storrs, while Bueckers will be returning for 2024-25 after missing all of last season with an ACL injury.

The third-seeded Huskies (29-5) begins its NCAA tournament run Saturday when it faces 14-seed Jackson State at 1 p.m. ET on ABC. Edwards is coming off breaking her nose in the Big East tournament, but is expected to play this weekend.

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