Courtney Ekmark, a 6-foot sophomore guard from Phoenix, has selected UConn over Arizona State, Duke, Stanford, North Carolina, Vanderbilt, Yale and Princeton. She led Phoenix St. Mary's to a 30-0 record and the Arizona Division I championship last season.
One day after winning that championship, Ekmark and her father/coach Curtis Ekmark make a trip to UConn in February. Both were impressed with the fans and the scene at the Hartford Civic Center and Courtney told the Arizona Republic she couldn't get the Huskies out of her mind.
Curtis Ekmark told the Republic his daughter really liked Arizona State and wanted to stay home, but "to have an opportunity to play for UConn, that's a once-in-a-lifetime thing."
Courtney told the Republic she felt comfortable with the UConn coaches, players and fans.
"I feel complete in my decision," she told The Republic. "I was blessed to have so many great offers and great opportunities. I figured why not decide now? It feels good to commit."
The UConn women announced the pairings for the Paradise Jam to be played in the Virgin Islands in November. Just like the UConn men, who are playing in the men's version, the women will open against Wake Forest.
Here's the entire press release from UConn:
STORRS, Conn. - The University of Connecticut women's basketball team will square-off against Wake Forest, Marist and Purdue from November 22-24 in the 2012 U.S. Virgin Islands Paradise Jam at the University of the Virgin Islands. The four teams will make up the Island Division tournament bracket.
Connecticut won the 2007 Paradise Jam in its only other appearance in the event, defeating Stanford, Old Dominion and Duke en route to the title.
UConn will take on Wake on Thursday, November 22 at 6 p.m., Marist on Friday, November 23 at 8:15 p.m. and Purdue on Saturday, November 24 at 8:15. All times are eastern.
Wake Forest finished the 2011-12 season with a 13-18 overall record, including at 4-12 mark in the ACC. The Demon Deacons finished the year ranked 87 in the Ratings Percentage Index (RPI). The Huskies are 2-0 all-time against Wake Forest with the last matchup coming on November 26, 2001.
Marist has made seven-straight NCAA Tournament appearances and finished the 2011-12 season with a 26-8 overall record, including a 17-1 mark in Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference action. The Red Foxes finished ranked No. 43 in the RPI and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Connecticut is 3-0 all-time against Marist and the two sides have not met since November 12, 2005.
Purdue finished 25-9 last year and posted an 11-5 mark in Big 10 play. The Boilermakers finished ranked No. 15 in the RPI and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament for the second-straight year. Connecticut is 4-1 all-time vs. Purdue most recently defeating the Boilers 64-40 in the second round of the 2011 NCAA Tournament at Gampel Pavilion.