Azzi Fudd. UConn star guard. Sharpshooting hot shot that’s considered one of the best shooters in college basketball. Recently selected as one of the top 20 female basketball players to watch for the 2024 Cheryl Miller Award, as announced by the National Basketball Hall of Fame and the Women's Basketball Coaches Association. Emerging fashionista. Lover of books, animals, traveling, and plenty more. At just 20-years-old, Fudd’s already got a resume for the books (not all of us can say we’re a mentee of Steph Curry), and she’s only beginning with plans of expanding beyond just hoops and into the dynamic world's of fashion and beauty. Much like her mentor, Fudd is reserved, humble, and soft spoken. On the court, however, is where the human highlight reel transformation happens.
UConn's Azzi Fudd is Back and Better Than Ever
We chatted with Azzi ahead of the team's home opener
Returning to the court after a knee injury that sidelined her last season, Azzi Fudd is back and better than ever. UConn's anticipated home opener is tonight, and Fudd was kind enough to chat with us recently about expectations for the upcoming season, what we can expect from her as she embarks on her style journey, some of the books she read during the off-season and more. "My off-season was busy and I took a lot of classes," she tells ONE37pm reflecting on this past summer. "I didn't have a ton of free time, but I read, traveled some for workouts and with my school—we went to Europe. I like to travel, read, and eat!"
Slovenia, Croatia, Bologna, and Venice were the destinations of Fudd's enviable travels with her team over the off-season, with Slovenia being her unexpected favorite. "It was the place that I was least looking forward to going to, but it wound up being amazing. The food overall was incredible—you could eat however much you wanted and not feel bloated or disgusting!"
I've been getting back to just getting comfortable with the ball in my hand [...] I'm feeling like myself again!
- Azzi Fudd
While a time was certainly had in Europe, there was also a considerable amount of work put in as Fudd has been rehabbing an unfortunate injury suffered last season. "This offseason was similar to last as far as getting healthy," she says adding: "I was on top of my rehab, doing everything I could to make sure I stayed as healthy and strong as possible." In addition to recovering from the injury, Fudd has been continuing to work and add to her game. "I've been getting back to just getting comfortable with the ball in my hand, moving without the ball, and getting rid of that ugly knee brace I had. I'm feeling like myself again!"
So we've got traveling and preparing for the upcoming season, what else did Azzi partake in during her time off? Fashion is the answer to that question, another career she's interested in pursuing. "It's definitely an emphasis in terms of being a space I want to grow in. I wouldn't say I know much, but I'm interested in learning. My teammate Paige is really into fashion and she helps me when it comes to picking outfits."
Azzi's being humble. This summer she got to attend a launch party for D'Amelio Footwear, which is kind of a big deal if you ask us. "It was really cool—I had never been to anything like that before!"
If Marc D'Amelio is your first major launch party, it's safe to say you're already on your way to accomplishing some great things in the fashion space. Along the lines of style, Fudd is renowned for the braids she rocks on the court which leads me to my next question. Having played ball myself as a kid and teen, there was often a struggle in terms of hair care and management during the season. Fudd represents a new generation of influential athletes that can help in that regard as far as pro-tips. "Finding the right products is something that I'm still working on when it comes to finding what works best with my hair. In season I always play with my two braids or some other form of braids because that's the easiest in terms of traveling and busy days. I've been really working on embracing and loving my curls, so I haven't straightened it since my high school homecoming. Also use a scalp oil!"
I've been really working on embracing and loving my curls.
- Azzi Fudd
As we share our respective hair journeys the convo naturally transitions into books, something Azzi has been passionate about for as long as she can remember. Her favorite author? Colleen Hoover. Favorite genre? Mysteries, thrillers and romance titles. "I'd have to say Verity is my favorite book by her," she says. "I feel like last summer is when everybody was reading Colleen Hoover books. At first I thought they were gory romance novels, and then I read Verity and was shocked! I didn't even know a romance book could have the sick crazy twist this does! That was a mixture of the mysteries and thrillers that I love."
Ugly Love, and November 9 were a few of the other titles on Azzi's summer reading list along with The Housemaid series by Freida McFadden, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid, and The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah which she warns is a "heavier read." Her grandparents cabin in Minnesota is the preferred location for her reading due to its super relaxing environment on the lake and its therapeutic benefits.
Wearing an animal's fur—knowing you would have to kill an animal for that is something that I don't agree with.
- Azzi Fudd
Another thing that brings Fudd peace and happiness are her two dogs Stewie (named after Breanna Stewart) and Curry (named after Steph). "Stewie is smaller so she's the one that gets to travel with me the most—sometimes she'll stay with my grandparents as well. I love dogs, and after our trip the aquarium I love Beluga Whales, penguins, and sea lions!" Along with her love of animals comes a passion of something that connects back to her evolving style journey—cruelty-free fashion. "I definitely want to work with brands that are cruelty-free," she says passionately. "I was watching an episode of That's So Raven the other day. Raven was using some fur and Chelsea was asking her why she would do that. Wearing an animals fur—knowing you would have to kill an animal for that is something that I don't agree with."
Mentorship is our next topic with Fudd naming her parents as the people she looks up to the most. As far as basketball goes—Steph Curry is a major mentor of hers. "I have a deal with Steph. Getting to work with him up close and see what he does with not just basketball but business has been amazing." The UConn alums on and off the court are additional basketball mentors she credits with helping her grow and evolve.
Speaking with Azzi, it's clear there's a maturity far beyond her twenty years and a bright future ahead. My final question? What does she want the world to know about her? "There's so many thing I want to run, explore, and do. I want to be more of a cook, get into hair and fashion, and travel more, so... stay tuned!"
You can keep up with Azzi this season and beyond via Instagram.
More from one37pm
Buckets: Players with the Most Threes in an NBA Season
Most Valuable Footballers: The 6 Most Recent Ballon d'Or Winners
Who are the The Highest Paid Female Athletes in 2023?
CM Punk WWE Return: Our Dream Match Wishlist
How Many Ballon d'Or Does Messi Have?
The 15 Longest College Football Winning Streaks of All-Time