After a wild, four month offseason, the NBA is back for what should be an exciting 2023-2024 campaign. As of now, five players will represent UConn in the NBA, including three rookies from the 2023 National Championship team. Former UConn basketball stars such as Ray Allen, Richard “Rip” Hamilton, Rudy Gay and many others have already established prominent careers for themselves and now it’s time for the recent wave of Husky draft picks to make careers of their own. Let’s look at the Connecticut players new and old who made opening night rosters for the 2023-2024 season.
Andre Drummond: Chicago Bulls
Following Gay’s release this week, former top-10 pick Drummond is now the longest tenured Husky in the NBA. A two-time All-Star and four-time league leader in rebounds, Drummond has had a very impressive career and was awarded an All-NBA Third Team selection after the 2015-2016 season. The 6-foot-10 center from Mount Vernon, New York spent his first eight seasons in the league with the Detroit Pistons and has since suited up for the Cavaliers, Lakers, 76ers, Nets and Bulls. Drummond’s career 12.7 rebounds per game is good for the 13th highest in NBA History.
James Bouknight: Charlotte Hornets
Two seasons have gone by since former UConn guard Bouknight was drafted 11th overall by the Charlotte Hornets. Over those two seasons, the former Husky star has appeared in just 65 games with career averages of 5.1 points and 1.9 rebounds while spending most of his career in the G-League. Bouknight will be sidelined for the start of the 2023-2024 season as he recovers from a meniscus injury he suffered in practice on Oct. 5. His injury will be re-evaluated in four weeks, though his role on the team is unclear whenever he does return.
Jordan Hawkins: New Orleans Pelicans
After averaging 16.3 points and shooting a blazing 21/42 from beyond the arc in UConn’s 2023 national championship run, Hawkins was selected 14th overall by the New Orleans Pelicans in the 2023 draft. Hawkins averaged just 5.8 points as a freshman but really blossomed into an elite draft prospect in his sophomore season, courtesy of his lights-out shooting ability. The 6-foot-5 sharpshooter from Gaithersburg, Maryland will look to help New Orleans with elite perimeter shooting and athleticism on the defensive side of the ball.
Andre Jackson Jr.: Milwaukee Bucks
The heart and soul of UConn’s 2023 national championship run opted to forgo his senior year in Storrs and declare for the NBA Draft, where the Orlando Magic (pick rights to the Bucks) selected him 36th overall. Jackson isn’t known for racking up points but rather his freakish athleticism on both ends and his elite floor vision with the basketball. The 6-foot-6 wing from Amsterdam, New York averaged 6.7 points, 6.2 rebounds and 4.7 assists in his final year with UConn and will look to generate open shots and impact games with his raw athleticism in year one with Milwaukee.
Adama Sanogo: Chicago Bulls
After winning the 2023 NCAA Tournament’s Most Outstanding Player, UConn big man Sanogo went undrafted and was later signed by the Chicago Bulls. Sanogo is coming off an NCAA Tournament for the ages, leading the Huskies with 19.7 points on an unstoppable 67% from the field during the team’s championship run. Despite going undrafted, the former Big East All First-Team selection made the Bulls’ opening night roster and will look to carve out a role coming off the bench behind Drummond during the 2023-2024 season.