ST. THOMAS, Virgin Islands – Bria Hartley recalls the court USA Basketball’s 3 x 3 team was competing on in Greece this summer at the FIBA World Championship wasn’t the best.
It felt like it was pieced together like a tile floor, unsteady to step on, and as she now she knows, dangerous to play on.
“We were told that when the gym got hot, the tiles tended to expand,” Hartley said. “I just remember going up for a lay-up and getting bumped on. And I landed on my left foot and it [the floor] gave a little bit and my ankle felt really weird.”
Hartley was correct. Her ankle was severely sprained. And only now, three months later, is UConn’s All-America junior guard able to play again.
UConn coach Geno Auriemma said Wednesday that Hartley will make her debut Thursday when the No. 2 Huskies (2-0) open play at the Paradise Jam Tournament against Wake Forest (2-1) at the University of Virgin Islands.
“I’m excited. I just want to play. I am so ready to go,” Hartley said.
Auriemma said Hartley will not start and he wasn’t sure how much time she would play because of the inherent pressure of the tournament format – three games in three nights.