Five days a week, St. John’s College High School (Washington, D.C.) shooting guard Azzi Fudd wakes up at 5 a.m. to get to her physical therapy appointment for intense training to get her surgically repaired knee back in tip top shape.
Fudd tore her ACL and MCL while competing in USA Basketball’s 3×3 tournament in Colorado Springs, Colo., in mid-April.
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“I’m taking my time with everything,” Fudd said. “I’ve started back practicing and working out on the court. My goal is to come back better than ever.”
She took big step in that regard “a few weeks ago” when she was in Los Angeles for the espnW: Women + Sports Summit; she carved out time to get in a workout with five-time NBA champion Kobe Bryant, who was running his daughter Gigi and her teammates through drills.
“We did a lot of skill work; I wasn’t moving as much at the time, but it’s Kobe,” Fudd said. “Any time you get a chance to workout with one of the greatest players of all time, it’s big.”
Fudd formed a friendship with Gigi, who Fudd said has star potential.
“She’s young, but she’s really talented,” Fudd said. “She’s gonna just keep getting better and better. You can already see that having Kobe as a dad/coach makes her fundamentals and IQ really, really high.”
As for Kobe’s gems to her during the workout, Fudd said the former Laker taught her the importance of total body control.
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“He told me I need to be able to separate movements in the top half and the bottom half of my body,” Fudd said. “That way the defender won’t be able to read me as well because it all looks the same. It made a lot of sense. He’s amazing. I know that I got better in just that one workout.”
Follow Jason Jordan on Twitter: @JayJayUSATODAY