Azzi Fudd has played just a few college games so far, but has already signed deals with Chipotle and Stephen Curry and appeared in a TV ad with Allen Iverson.
The UConn Huskies women’s basketball team found themselves in a rare position in November. Coming off an embarrassing loss to No. 1 South Carolina, the Huskies had to sit for almost two weeks before returning to the court against Seton Hall on Dec. 3.
The layoff got even worse when head coach Geno Auriemma announced that freshman phenom Azzi Fudd would miss at least two weeks with a foot injury. Fudd spent the first four games of her career coming off the bench and has had an uneven start. Against South Florida on Nov. 21, she was electric, knocking down six threes in a seven-point win.
The next day against the Gamecocks, she was invisible, logging just 10 minutes, taking one shot and going scoreless. But her injury and early inconsistencies haven’t slowed the Azzi Fudd Hype Train — nor should it. She was the top high school recruit in her class for a reason, and continues to pile up NIL endorsements from brands that know she’s destined for a long, lucrative basketball career.
The Fudd Following
In addition to her immense ability, brands are betting on her already abundant popularity. Boardroom identified her as one of five college basketball players with personal brands to watch closely this season, and she is well on her way with the foundation that she’s established. From on-court ability to NIL to social media reach and beyond, Fudd is far more than just a college freshman that “plays basketball,” as her TikTok profile reads.
UConn Huskies women’s basketball is no stranger to pulling in highly touted freshmen; Fudd’s teammate and best friend Paige Bueckers came to Storrs just a year ago. The pair of phenoms grace the cover of SLAM 235 and talked about their relationship and each others’ games.
“Azzi’s an automatic bucket. She scores at all three levels at an insanely efficient rate,” Bueckers said to SLAM. “She defends, she talks, she’s very strong. As a guard, she’s a big guard. She brings energy, effort, and an insane work ethic. She can do a lot of positive things for this team.”
Other basketball greats have taken notice of Fudd’s abilities as well. Golden State Warriors superstar guard Stephen Curry told ESPNW:
“I think [Fudd] has more of a textbook jumper than anyone I’ve seen.”
Curry backed that up, too, signing Fudd in November to his company, SC30 Inc.
In addition to personally mentoring Fudd, Curry and the SC30 team will provide her opportunities both on and off the court. The goal is to allow Fudd to maximize her opportunity to continue to be the best student and athlete she can be while Curry and his team support her brand development. Fudd will also give her perspective and support, and promote some of SC30’s key initiatives and businesses.
“Azzi Fudd is the best choice to start a brand relationship like this because she is the next face of women’s basketball and has been a part of SC30 Inc. and the Curry Brand family since she was an invitee to the All American Camp,” Curry said when the deal was announced.
Fudd attended that camp in 2018 and called the partnership a dream come true.
“I am very excited to continue working with Stephen, and become a part of the SC30 family,” Fudd said in the announcement. “Since I first met Steph at his camp a few years ago, I’ve stayed connected to him and have always admired his incredible talent and accomplishments, but also his humility and the impact he has on people.”
When a superstar like Paige Bueckers is your teammate, it’s hard to find a way to escape that long, long shadow. But in short order, Azzi Fudd has proven an ability to not just differentiate herself from the rest of the college basketball pack, but carve out a lane for herself with unbridled potential for the long haul.