New York, United States of America – The UConn women’s basketball team will welcome four freshmen next season as head coach Geno Auriemma announced the program’s 2023 signing class this week on Wednesday.
UConn’s (https://bit.ly/3NZiQ8f) incoming class includes 5-foot-9 point guard KK Arnold, 6-foot-4 centre Jana El Alfy, 6-foot-2 wing Qadence Samuels and 5-foot-10 shooting guard Ashlynn Shade.
El Alfy will be UConn’s first player from Egypt.
“We’re excited as can be about our class,” Auriemma said.
“There were needs that we felt we needed to address, and we feel that we addressed each and every one of them.
“We wanted to get quicker in the back court, we wanted to get longer on the wing, we wanted to physically get a little tougher and we wanted to add more athleticism and skill up front.
“”I think we accomplished all those things.
“More importantly though, each member of this class really expressed an interest in coming here.
“They kept basketball at the forefront of why they wanted to be here.
“They kept going back to I want to play basketball at UConn, I want to go to UConn because I think that’s where I can reach my full potential.
“We feel like we’re getting a great group and they’re all coming here for the right reasons.”
JANA El ALFY
C, 6-4, Cairo Egypt, Al Ahly Sporting Club
El Alfy will be UConn’s first player from Egypt. She has represented Egypt in FIBA competition three times, including the 2021 FIBA U16 African Championship, the 2022 FIBA U17 World Cup and the 2022 FIBA U18 African Women’s Championship. At the 2022 U18 African Championship, El Alfy led the tournament with 24.0 points and 11.5 rebounds per game, leading Egypt to silver.
She has participated in the NBA Academy Women’s Program since 2019 – fellow alums include current UConn players Aaliyah Edwards and Nika Mühl.
Geno Auriemma (https://bit.ly/3fTyMMH) on Jana El Alfy:
“I think the skills Jana has skills that translate well into the way basketball is played today,” said head coach Geno Auriemma.
“She’s a big kid who’s athletic and can play on the perimeter. She can score, she can rebound. She’s played a lot of basketball growing up.
“Her father is the national team coach, so she really understands the game.
“There’s an understanding from everyone of where Jana wants to go and what Jana wants to be.
“She wants to set an example for all the young girls not just in Egypt but in all of Africa.”