Faces in the Crowd: Azzi Fudd

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TV-G
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5:27

Having torn both her right ACL and MCL in April 2019, Azzi Fudd missed nine months before returning to the court nine games into her junior year. She led St. John’s College High in Washington, D.C., to its fifth straight Class AA state title and now, preparing to return for a full senior season, the country’s top-ranked recruit says she knows her body, she knows her limits and she’s ready to “win everything.” “After not playing, it made me hungry,” says Azzi. “My goals are to win our league, our state . . . if there is a Geico [national] championship, I need redemption.”

A 5' 11" combo guard, Azzi was named the 2018-2019 Gatorade National Girls Basketball Player of the Year—the first to do so as a sophomore—after guiding the Cadets to a 36–2 record while averaging 26.3 points, 6.2 rebounds and 2.5 assists. That year she was the youngest player on the gold-medal-winning U.S. team at the FIBA Under-17 World Cup. Azzi guesses she first touched a basketball the day she was born. 

Her mom, Katie, starred at Georgetown and her dad, Tim, played for American; they were married on the hardwood at St. Joseph Catholic School in Herndon, Va. So when the pandemic kept Azzi from going to the gym, her parents were quick to find a creative solution. Tim and Katie drew a regulation court on the road, where Azzi practiced for hours each day. When a neighbor complained that the court was blocking traffic, the Fudds moved their practice area to the front lawn and driveway.

Azzi received her first offer in sixth grade, from Maryland—“I had no idea what it was. My dad had to explain it”—and has narrowed her list to UCLA and UConn. “It’s been a blessing,“she says. “But it’s also tough having that decision.”