The only thing Azzi Fudd can bring herself to look at is the falling snow. She can’t look at her mother, Katie, who’s sitting in the passenger seat, too distraught to drive. And she won’t look at her knee, which no longer looks like her knee anyway.
Her grandmother, Karen, navigates their rented black SUV through the accumulating snow. It’s April 13, 2019, and they’re rushing from the USA Basketball 3-on-3 U18 nationals in Colorado Springs to Denver, some 75 miles away, for an emergency MRI to see whether Azzi’s injury is as bad as they all fear.
The snow grips like quicksand. Precious minutes tick away. Azzi needs to get in today, Katie thinks. Their flight home to Virginia leaves tomorrow, and the swelling in her daughter’s right knee will only worsen. The stakes are high. Waiting isn’t an option.
This is, after all, Azzi Fudd, the top girls’ basketball prospect in the country, a shooting sensation who has wowed everyone from two-time NBA MVP Stephen Curry to two-time WNBA MVP Elena Delle Donne to 11-time NCAA champion Geno Auriemma. She is, by most accounts, the best high school talent the game has seen in decades.