UConn women's notebook: Recruit Arnold named to USA 3x3 U-18 team

Aug. 3—After a concussion cost her an opportunity to try out for the U-17 national team in May, KK Arnold is getting another chance to represent her country this month.

The UConn women's basketball team's Class of 2023 commit was named Tuesday to USA Basketball's 3x3 U-18 team that will compete in the FIBA 3x3 U-18 World Cup in Debrecen, Hungary Aug. 23-28.

Arnold — a 5-foot-9 guard from Germantown, Wisconsin — will be playing on her second USA team. She won a gold medal at the 2021 FIBA U-16 Americas Championship.

Joining Arnold on the American roster are LSU Class of 2023 commit Mikaylah Williams, Oklahoma Class of 2023 commit Sahara Williams, and Class of 2024 player Sarah Strong.

Mikaylah Williams was a member of the 2021 3x3 U-18 team that included current UConn freshman Ayanna Patterson that won World Cup gold a year ago. The top-rated recruit in the Class of 2023 also won gold this summer at the FIBA U-17 World Cup.

Sahara Williams and Strong will be making their USA Basketball debuts.

Arnold, rated the No. 7 recruit in her class by ESPN, committed to UConn in November. As a junior at Germantown High, she averaged 24.8 points, 7.8 rebounds, 7.2 assists, and 4.4 steals and was named Wisconsin's Gatorade Player of the Year for the second straight season.

In her one appearance with USA Basketball, she averaged 5.6 points and 2.0 rebounds over five games as Team USA won the gold medal at the FIBA Americas U-16 Championship in Léon, Mexico.

Ducharme gets Degree

UConn sophomore Caroline Ducharme has signed an NIL (name, image, likeness) deal to join Degree Deodorant's Year 2 #BreakingLimits Team NIL program.

According to a press release, the Milton, Massachusetts native "will share her story of overcoming adversity to inspire others."

Ducharme had surgery on her knee and shoulder while attending high school and is working her way back from left hip surgery she had in April.

Other women's basketball's players on the 18-member Year 2 Breaking Limits team are Kansas State's Ayoka Lee and Gonzaga's Kayleigh Truong and Kaylynne Truong.

Ducharme, also has an NIL deal with ISlide out of Boston. She and her sister Ashley, who graduated from Brown University in May, have developed the "Why Collection" for the company.

The 6-foot-2 guard averaged 9.8 points and 3.2 rebounds in 31 games as a freshman for the Huskies. She struggled down the stretch after missing four February games with a head injury, though she saved her best outing of the postseason for the national championship game against South Carolina. She came off the bench to score nine points and helped UConn to stay within striking distance until early in the fourth quarter before the Gamecocks pulled away for good.

But for a six-week stretch in December and January she was the Huskies' best player while her teammates battled through injuries and illness. The highlights were a 28-point performance in a win at St. John's on Jan. 23 followed three days later by a game-winning drive with 1.6 seconds left that lifted UConn past DePaul in Chicago.

She was named to the all-Big East second team and the all-freshman team.

Husky bites

Olivia Olson — a 6-foot junior guard from Saint Louis Park, Minnesota and the No. 3 recruit in ESPN's Class of 2024 — has UConn on her list of 10 she announced on Tuesday. She is also considering Duke, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Oregon, Stanford, Tennessee, and Vanderbilt ... UMass has officially announced the addition of UConn transfer Piath Gabriel. "She will give us great depth at the post position for many years to come," UMass coach Tony Verdi said in a statement. "Defensively, she will have a huge presence as I expect her to anchor our defense with her length and size." Gabriel, a 6-5 center. averaged 1.5 points and 1.1 rebounds in 35 games over two seasons with the Huskies. She has three years of eligibility remaining.

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.