UConn star Paige Bueckers says she's 'a living testimony,' praises God after Elite Eight win

University of Connecticut women's basketball guard Paige Bueckers plays in a game on Nov.19, 2023, at Williams Arena in Minneapolis, Minnesota (photo credit John McClellan)
University of Connecticut women's basketball guard Paige Bueckers plays in a game on Nov.19, 2023, at Williams Arena in Minneapolis, Minnesota (photo credit John McClellan) | Wikimedia Commons/John McClellan

University of Connecticut women's basketball star Paige Bueckers praised God after her team made it into the Final Four of the 2024 NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament this week. 

Bueckers, 22, scored a team-high 28 points and 10 rebounds on Monday as the Huskies defeated the University of Southern California in an Elite Eight matchup. She reacted to the victory in a postgame interview with ESPN. 

The guard expressed "so much gratitude" and described herself as "a living testimony" before proclaiming, "I give all glory to God."

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"He works in mysterious ways," she added. "Last year, I was praying to be back at this stage, and He sent me trials and tribulations, but … it was to build my character; it was to test my faith." 

"I just kept on believing," she added. "I did all I could so God could do all I can't."

Bueckers said she felt "so much joy and pride for this team," adding, "I'm so proud."

She characterized her team's presence in the Final Four as a "Godly miracle" as the ESPN interviewer noted that UConn's coach suggested that it was "going to take a miracle to win" in light of the team's "depleted roster."

"You can overcome anything with God on your side, with hard work on your side and with a belief and a faith and just the perseverance, the resilience, it's all about how you overcome adversity in life," Bueckers concluded. 

Monday is not the first time Bueckers has spoken about her faith following success on the court. 

In 2021, as her team advanced to the Final Four, Bueckers reflected on how "as a little kid, I would be outside at the park shooting hoops, envisioning these moments, but you never really know if you're going to get those chances and opportunities."

Saying, "That's where God comes in," she expressed confidence that "I wouldn't be here without Him and just the confidence, experiences, and opportunities He's given me."

"I've just tried to shine and sort of make Him famous and use my light that He's given me to shine on Him," she explained. "So these opportunities — you dream of them as a kid, but you can get there with a strong work ethic and faith and just trust in God."

At the time, Bueckers elaborated on how her faith grew during the COVID-19 pandemic, which she remembered as "a really hard time for me." She said that because of the pandemic shutdowns, she "really started connecting with my faith and with God, knowing He always has a plan for me through the ups and downs, just always keeping that faith and that trust that everything's going to work out and everything happens for a reason."

Bueckers' Christian faith is displayed prominently on her Instagram page, which lists the Bible verse Proverbs 3:5-6 as a source of her inspiration in her biography. The Scripture states, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight." 

Bueckers is not the only outspoken Christian to see her team head to the final stages of the NCAA Women's Basketball championship this year.

Dawn Staley, the coach for the University of South Carolina Gamecocks, took to X to proclaim "all glory to God" after her team secured a spot in the Final Four. After the victory, she told a reporter and television viewers, "if you don't believe in God, something's wrong with you." Staley's remarks invited a complaint from the atheist legal group the Freedom From Religion Foundation, which accused her of "proselytizing." 

The UConn Huskies will face off against the University of Iowa on Friday. The winner of that game will face the victor of a contest between the University of South Carolina and North Carolina State University that is also taking place on Friday in the championship game scheduled for Sunday.

Ryan Foley is a reporter for The Christian Post. He can be reached at:

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