Jan. 25—KK Arnold and Ashlynn Shade will be on the same side for four years with the UConn women's basketball team when they arrive in Storrs in May.
But first the pair of Class of 2023 recruits will be on opposite sides.
Arnold and Shade, who signed with the Huskies in November, were selected Tuesday to take part in the McDonald's Girls All-America Game that will be held March 28 at the Toyota Center in Houston. Arnold (5-9 point guard, Germantown, Wisconsin) will play for the West. Shade (5-10 guard, Noblesville, Indiana) will play for the East.
Twenty-four players were chosen.
UConn recruit Qadence Samuels (6-2 wing, Forestville, Maryland) was nominated but not selected. The final member of the Class of 2023 Jana El Alfy (6-4 center, Cairo, Egypt) was not eligible as she did not attend high school in the United States. She arrived in Storrs Sunday, enrolled for the spring semester Monday, and was on the Huskies' bench for their 94-51 Big East win over DePaul Monday night.
Arnold is the No. 6-ranked recruit in the class according to ESPN and UConn coach Geno Auriemma's first recruit from Wisconsin. She is averaging 23.2 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 7.4 assists per game as a senior at Germantown High. She is a two-time Wisconsin Gatorade Player of the Year and has won gold medals playing for USA Basketball at the 2021 FIBA Americas U-16 Championship and at the 2022 FIBA 3x3 U-18 World Cup.
Shade is the No. 15 recruit in the class according to ESPN and is averaging 28.9 points, 10.2 rebounds, and 4.1 assists at La Lumiere School in La Porte, Indiana, where she transferred to for her senior year. As a junior, she led Noblesville High to a state championship and was chosen Indiana's Gatorade Player of the Year.
Five schools — UConn, Arizona, LSU, Notre Dame, and South Carolina — each had two recruits selected.
Since the first McDonald's girls game in 2002, UConn has had a recruit selected every year with the exception of 2013 when Saniya Chong was their lone scholarship recruit.
Current Huskies who were named McDonald's All-Americans are Aubrey Griffin (2019), Paige Bueckers (2020), Amari DeBerry (2021), Caroline Ducharme (2021), Azzi Fudd (2021), Ice Brady (2022), and Ayanna Patterson (2022).
UConn has had a total of 42 recruits chosen. The Huskies had four selected for the first game in 2002 at New York's Madison Square Garden with Willnett Crockett, Ann Strother, Barbara Turner, and Nicole Wolff. Four other times they had three players selected.
For coverage of all sports in the JI's 18-town coverage area, plus updates on the UConn women's basketball team and head coach Geno Auriemma, follow Carl Adamec on Twitter: @CarlAdamec, Facebook: Carl Adamec, and Instagram: @CarlAdamec.