UConn Legend - MBB All American 2008, A.J. Price


Can't imagine there are too many father-son combos that both played in a Final Four. We know of one in Connecticut, the Price Family. Tony played for the Penn Quakers in 1979 and are the last Ivy League School to play in one..Of course Larry Bird and Magic Johnson headlined that Final Four in Salt Lake City. But Tony and the Quakers won the East Regional where Dad was on the Regional All Tourney Team with wins over Iona, Top Seed North Carolina, Syracuse and St John's.

Thirty Years later, Tony's son, A.J. spearheaded the UConn Men to their third Final Four in the last decade. As A.J. was named the West Regional's MVP that sent the Huskies to Detroit where they lost to Michigan State...The road to that Final Four was quite an adventure for the Amityville, N.Y. native as we look back on his days as a UConn Husky..

A.J. starred at Amityville H.S., was twice named Newsday's Suffolk County Player of the Year. Led his team to three Long Island Championships and two state titles in his Sophomore and Junior Seasons....It came down to Florida State, Kansas, St. John's and UConn to where A.J. would play. He stayed close to home, just not in Queens, but in Storrs...There were some who believed he'd never play however. In the 2004-05 year, Price had a dangerous condition known as Arteriovenous Malformation. That led to bleeding on the brain. He survived the situation, but in the fall of 2005, was involved in a incident with Marcus Williams involving stolen laptops that got him kicked out of school for the fall semester. It was time to grow up and decide what he wanted to be. He was back in school for the spring of 2006 as his teammates lost to George Mason in the Elite 8 that spring.

Finally a chance to play in the 2006-07 for Jim Calhoun, Price was ready to make an impact...Double figures in seven of his first eight games in a UConn Uniform. That included 20 against Texas Southern and 23 against Ole' Miss..15 games overall he'd get into double figures in a 17-14 season where the Huskies were just 6-10 in Big East play and no postseason for the Huskies...Price averaged just under 10ppg and led the team with 113 assists (3.6 per game)

Chemistry was building with the likes of Jerome Dyson, Craig Austrie, Stanley Robinson, Jeff Adrien and Hasheem Thabeet. As the Huskies again vaulted up the Big East standings in a 24-9 season where UConn went 13-5 in the conference. Price led the Huskies in scoring 13 times with 24 in double digits. 23 in a loss to Memphis, 22 against Gonzaga, 25 in a win over St John's, 20 at home against Louisville, 21 against Pitt, a then career high 26 against Notre Dame and back to back 20 point games against West Virginia. The second however resulted in a loss in the Big East Tournament..The Huskies were a #4 seed for the NCAA's and played San Diego. Nine minutes in, A.J. landed awkwardly and tore his left ACL. The Huskies lost a first round game under Jim Calhoun for the first time. Price's numbers earning him Second Team USWBA All American Honors and First Team All Big East...14.5ppg and a career high 192 assists (5.8 apg) as UConn started the year unranked and finished in the top 25...

Asking a player to rehab after ACL Surgery and be ready in 8 months is asking a lot. But not A.J. Price as he was ready to go for the 2008-09 campaign. His "coming back" game was a 24 point, 10 assist double double against Gonzaga in Seattle where his three late sent the game to Overtime. One of 25 double figure games where he's excel as the season progressed. A career high 29 in a win over Villanova and even better at #8 Marquette where A.J. eclipsed that with 36 that game Jim Calhoun his 800th career victory as a Head Coach..The Huskies won the Paradise Jam that year as ranked Number One in the later stages of the season. But this time it was Jerome Dyson who went down with a knee injury that ended his season and others needed to step up...including a freshman in Kemba Walker. Price was Price and the Huskies kept battling....despite losing an epic 6 OT game to Syracuse in the Big East Tournament where Price scored 33 in the loss. One of 11 double figure games Price would record to close the year....As UConn beat Chattanooga, Texas A&M, Purdue and Missouri to reach the Final Four. Price earning Regional MOP Honors..But overcoming Michigan State in Detroit was a lot to ask in the National Semi-Finals...The lone loss for the UConn Men in a Final Four setting..

Price was named second team All Big East in his last at UConn, averaging 15ppg with 4.7 assists per game and a career best 82- Three pointers..His career numbers, 1,284 points, 37% from three and 469 assists (4.7 apg)...A.J. would be the second round pick of the Indiana Pacers in the spring of 2010 and would play with five different teams thru 2015. He continued his career for two more seasons playing professionally in China. Considering where his UConn career started in a hospital bed and then a jail cell, A.J. Price, with the help of Jim Calhoun and others, became an outstanding player for the Huskies and an All American, making him a UConn Legend