On Thursday Noble & Greenough junior guard Caroline Ducharme of Milton verbally committed to the UConn women’s basketball team as a member of its 2021 recruiting class.
The state’s 2019-20 Gatorade Player of the Year averaged 24.8 points, 14 rebounds, and 6 assists in guiding Nobles (27-3) to the NEPSAC Class AA title. She made her commitment Thursday, sources confirmed to the Globe.
A consensus top-50 recruit in the class of 2021, Ducharme chose the Huskies over a number of other D1 programs. The 6-foot-2 wing caught up with the Globe to discuss her commitment.
Every little girl when growing up in New England dreams about going to UConn. That was always my dream when I was little. I wanted to make sure it was the right fit. I went through the whole process and at the end of the day I came back to UConn and felt it was the best for me.
Is it meaningful to be staying close to home?
If I had gone from home I would’ve been OK, but the fact that I have the opportunity to play close to my parents and my family can come to my games, they’ll be thrilled. They never wanted to influence my decision based on staying close to home or going far.
When was your first visit to Gampel Pavilion, and what do you remember about it?
I went with my dad [Todd], my sister[Ashley] my brother [Reid] and two of my high school teammates. We went to the 100-win streak game against South Carolina. I always watched them on TV, but to actually be there, I was in awe of everything. That was in seventh grade.
Take us through the timeline of when you made the decision.
I wasn’t planning on committing [Thursday]. I was planning on May, June area. But then with all this quarantine stuff you have time to just think and weigh your options. I figured nothing is going to change between now and May and knew everything I needed to know. I had a call with [coach Geno Auriemma] in the morning and I wasn’t planning on doing anything. After that I talked to my parents [Todd and Chrissy], my high school coach [Alex Gallagher], my AAU coach [Thomas Davis/New York City Exodis], then called him back. I just figured, why not do it now?
Is there a current or former UConn player that you admired?
It’s so hard. They’re so above anything I think of myself, but I think more recently, I loved the way Katie Lou Samuelson played. I wouldn’t say I model my game after her, but I definitely watched her a lot. Diana Taurasi has always been one of my favorites.
You’re the third commit in UConn’s 2021 class, joining Amari DeBerry and Saylor Poffenbarger. What is the lure to play with them?
I’ve been close friends with Saylor and Paige [Bueckers] for a while. Knowing them and knowing Amari throughout the whole AAU circuit, and lot of the 2020s [commits] I played against. They all play so hard. They play so versatile. When I watched them play, I knew those were the girls that on and off the court I’d want to spend my time with and play with.
You kept your recruitment low-key. Why?
It’s just how I was raised. I’m not really about posting all my accomplishments. If you’re good enough you don’t have to post it. Proving yourself on the court is more important than what you post on Twitter. I dealt with the process with my family and the people that I am close with. It’s my process and I didn’t feel the need to share it with the world.