Former UConn women’s basketball guard Bria Hartley to miss remainder of WNBA season with ACL injury

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Former UConn women’s basketball guard Bria Hartley will miss the remainder of the WNBA season after suffering an ACL injury in her left knee on Sunday, the Connecticut Sun announced Wednesday afternoon.

Hartley went down with two and a half minutes left in the third quarter of the Sun’s game at Minnesota. Hartley was chasing a loose ball near the sideline and her left leg twisted and forced her to fall to the floor after she extended her arm to protect the ball from going out of bounds.

“It’s terrible,” Sun guard Courtney Williams said. “She worked so hard to get back, right. Just her story and her process and to get here. She was going to be such a big factor in what were about to do and trying to accomplish. To see that happen to her and for her to be playing so well, like I said, just her getting back to her, it’s a tough situation.”

Said forward Jonquel Jones, “I think she fits well into our system and just the way that she played, like when you saw her out there with us it just looked like she had been with us before. So we appreciate that energy and we were so excited about what the future for her and with our team. But ultimately, right now it’s about her getting healthy and focusing on her body and us just giving her that love and support, which is all we can do right now. Definitely our hearts go out to her.”

With Hartley out for the rest of the season, the Sun signed Kiana Williams Wednesday to a seven-day contract. Williams was drafted 18th overall in the 2021 WNBA Draft by Seattle coming out of Stanford.

She will be available on Thursday when the Sun host the Storm at 7 p.m.

Hartley signed a rest-of-season contract with the Sun on July 18. She played in three games for Connecticut, averaging 4.6 points, 1.3 assists, 1 steal and 0.6 rebounds in 12.3 minutes coming off the bench.

“(I’m) just extremely happy that we have Bria Hartley,” Sun head coach and general manager Curt Miller said after Hartley’s debut with the Sun on July 19 against New York. “To really have an eight-year pro in this league who’s been through the wars and will compete is just comforting, and it’s going to get better.”

Three days before signing with Connecticut, Hartley was waived from Indiana after playing 10 games with the Fever.

The former Husky All-America was initially traded to Indiana in the offseason in a three-team trade that also involved Phoenix and Chicago.

Hartley, in her ninth WNBA season, started her professional career in Washington in 2014 after leading UConn to the 2013 and 2014 national championships. She played three seasons in New York before joining the Mercury in 2020.

The North Babylon, N.Y. native’s time in the WNBA has been limited recently due to tearing her ACL in her right leg in August 2020. She played just six games for Phoenix in 2021 after spending the beginning part of the season recovering.