Paige Bueckers Gave A Great Answer On Why She Hopes She’s Not The Focal Point Of Women’s College Hoops Next Year

The Women’s Final Four will take center stage on Friday night in Cleveland, where undefeated South Carolina will take on NC State and Iowa will face UConn with a berth in the national title game on the line.

The game between the Hawkeyes and Huskies figures to draw a ton of eyeballs, as two of the biggest stars in the sport will square off. Iowa’s Caitlin Clark has been the lead story in college basketball (men’s or women’s) this year, and was a big reason the Iowa-LSU rematch in the Elite 8 drew the biggest TV audience of any women’s college game in history. On the other side, UConn’s Paige Bueckers is finally back healthy and looks the part of the superstar so many projected her as coming into the college game, taking over down the stretch against USC to push the Huskies into the Final Four.

While Clark is headed to the WNBA in two weeks, Bueckers will be back for another season in Storrs next fall, and figures to draw plenty of attention. However, as she explained when asked about stepping into the spotlight next year with Clark gone, Bueckers doesn’t want there to be a singular star in women’s college basketball, pointing out that the sport would be much better off if media coverage spread the love to all the incredible players and teams across the country.

Bueckers has always had an incredible amount of perspective for someone her age on these kinds of topics — she used her ESPY’s speech after her freshman year to call out how Black players in women’s basketball aren’t covered or lauded in the same way. In this case, she wants to widen the spotlight and use the fact that she will, undoubtedly, get a ton of attention to push that to others and ensure that the game as a whole gets the shine it deserves, not just her. That’s not something a lot of players would be willing to do, and hopefully we as the media can heed her advice and broaden the coverage of the women’s game beyond just a name or two.