Paige Bueckers and the UConn women's basketball team's season ended Friday night with a dramatic 71-69 loss to Caitlin Clark and Iowa, but during the game, Las Vegas Aces star A'ja Wilson expressed her respect and admiration for Bueckers.

Wilson, mic'd up as part of AT&T's Courtside Cam, explained to her Aces teammate Kelsey Plum that Bueckers reminded her of Plum, but not in the way most would likely think.

“Us, as Black women, Paige reminds me a lot of you,” Wilson said to Plum. “Like, you say, ‘It's not really about me.' She knows. And she knows how her privilege has gotten her to that point. And also, she's good at basketball, obviously. She understands her privilege. It's like what pushes her over the top in a sense. It reminds me a lot of you. And I mean, that's a compliment.”

Paige Bueckers wants to share women's basketball spotlight

UConn women's basketball Paige Bueckers

Since her high school days, when she became the top player in the country and one of the most anticipated prospects in recent history, Bueckers has been a star who has attracted the media's attention. Bueckers has tried to move the spotlight off of her and onto Black players in the sport.

In 2021, during her acceptance speech after winning the Female College Athlete of the Year award at the ESPYs, Bueckers criticized media coverage of Black WNBA players.

“With the light that I have now as a White woman who leads a Black-led sport and celebrated here, I want to shed a light on Black women,” Bueckers said. “They don’t get the media coverage that they deserve. They’ve given so much to the sport, the community and society as a whole and their value is undeniable.

“I think it’s time for change. Sports media holds the key to storylines. Sports media and sponsors tell us who is valuable, and you have told the world that I mattered today, and everyone who voted, thank you. But I think we should use this power together to also celebrate Black women.”

Ahead of UConn's Final Four clash with Iowa and the Hawkeyes' star player Caitlin Clark, Bueckers said she does not want to dominate the spotlight next season when Clark and other popular players like Angel Reese, Cameron Brink, and Kamilla Cardoso are in the WNBA.

“I think media coverage is important for the game,” Bueckers said. “I think it grows the game. I know, freshman year, I was the ‘media darling.' Everybody was focused on me and what I did at UConn my freshman year. But I think it's more important for the game to share the spotlight, to grow the game, and show all the stars of college basketball, not just focus on one particular player — whether it be me, Caitlin, JuJu (Watkins), Angel.

“I mean, there's so many names in college basketball now that are huge, that are stars, that deserve credit. And I think, it's not my job, but the media can do a better job of just making sure everybody gets love, everybody gets not an equal amount of attention but try to spread it out more. So I honestly hope next year I'm not the focal point and the only person that gets attention, and I hope as media, as players, we can spread the love a little bit more.”

Bueckers announced in February that she would return to UConn for a fifth season. After leading the Huskies to a Final Four appearance in 2021, Bueckers battled injuries for the next two years. She underwent surgery on her right ankle in the offseason between her freshman and sophomore seasons before suffering a left knee injury in December that required surgery and kept her out of action for more than two months.

In August 2022, Bueckers tore the ACL in her left knee, which necessitated surgery and an entire season on the sidelines recovering. She redshirted as a junior and returned for the 2023-24 season, during which she averaged 21.9 points, 5.2 rebounds, 3.8 assists, 2.2 steals, 1.4 blocks, and shot 53.0% from the field, 41.6% from three, and 83.4% from the free-throw line.