UConn superstar Paige Bueckers suffered a scary, non-contact leg injury on Sunday.
Dawn Staley, the coach of the Huskies' rival South Carolina Gamecocks, promptly offered support.
She encouraged fans to pray we "see this generational player grace us with her God given talent soon."
The biggest star in college sports suffered a scary-looking injury this weekend, and the coach of one of her team's fiercest rivals offered a message of support.
UConn point guard Paige Bueckers — last year's consensus player of the year — crumpled to the hardwood in the final minute of the Huskies' blowout victory against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. Her knee appeared to hyperextend after she took a wrong step while dribbling up the court, and she wasn't able to leave the floor under her own power.
Teammates carried Bueckers to the bench, and team officials had to help her limp back to the locker room once the buzzer sounded. And while the extent of Bueckers' injury remained unclear after the game, the consensus from head coach Geno Auriemma to fans watching at home was that it didn't look good.
The news sent shockwaves across the basketball world — so much so that even Dawn Staley, coach of the South Carolina Gamecocks, promptly offered a message o support for her rival's biggest star.
"@paigebueckers1 we lift you up in the highest prayer," Staley wrote. "All of us in WBB need to link up to ensure we get see this generational player grace us with her God given talent soon. 🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾"
—dawnstaley (@dawnstaley) December 5, 2021
Less than two weeks earlier, Staley's No. 1 Gamecocks took down then-No. 2 UConn in the most highly-anticipated matchup of the young college basketball season. Though far newer to the upper echelons of the women's game than the perennial powerhouse Huskies, South Carolina is widely perceived as the biggest threat to UConn's continued dominance.
While the two sides go toe-to-toe on the recruiting trail, in the rankings, and on the court, their fanbases often battle it out online. But the overwhelming sentiment on Sunday — even from Gamecock nation — seemed to be concern for the generational talent up in Storrs.
Bueckers was set to undergo further medical examination and an MRI after Sunday's game, but the Huskies have not yet offered an update on her condition.
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