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    Thursday, June 13, 2024

    Karaban will return to UConn for another basketball season

    Alex Karaban talks to media during the 2024 NBA basketball Draft Combine in Chicago, Tuesday, May 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
    UConn head coach Dan Hurley celebrates with forward Alex Karaban (11) after their win against Purdue in the NCAA college Final Four championship basketball game, Monday, April 8, 2024, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
    UConn forward Alex Karaban, left, scores as Providence guard Devin Carter (22) defends during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game, Saturday, March 9, 2024, in Providence, R.I. (AP Photo/Mark Stockwell)

    Alex Karaban, a key contributor to UConn winning back-to-back national championships for the first time in men’s basketball program history, plans to return for another season.

    A 6-foot-8 forward, Karaban announced the news on social media, only hours before Wednesday night’s deadline to declare his NBA Draft status.

    Karaban posted on X: “While I’ve enjoyed the draft process, Storrs is home. Let’s run it back.”

    He decided to withdraw his name from the draft pool after attending the pre-draft combine in Chicago earlier this month and working out and receiving input from NBA teams. He’s projected to be a second round pick.

    With Karaban returning for his redshirt junior season, the Huskies will be a legitimate threat to challenge for a three-peat and likely begin the season as a top 10 team. He’ll be the only returning starter from last season’s 37-3 team.

    Last season, Karaban ranked third on the team in scoring at 13.3 points and grabbed 5.1 rebounds per game. He was one of UConn’s best perimeter shooters, sinking 37.9 percent from 3-point range and 49.5 percent from the field overall. He also provided valuable veteran leadership.

    During his career, Karaban has appeared in 78 games, starting 77, and helped the Huskies post a 68-11 overall record, win the Big East regular season and league tournament titles last season and cap a second straight dominating NCAA tournament run with a second consecutive national championship.

    Karaban will be one of seven returning players on next season’s roster, joining Jaylin Stewart, Solo Ball, Hassan Diarra, Jayden Ross, Youssouf Singare and Samson Johnson. The Huskies will bring in transfers Tarris Reed (Michigan) and Aidan Mahaney (Saint Mary’s) as well as freshmen Liam McNeeley, Isaiah Abraham and Ahmad Nowell.

    g.keefe@theday.com

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