Nika Muhlâ€™s plan was to decide her college choice by the start of summer.
Instead, the 5-foot-10 junior guard from Zagreb, Croatia, gave herself an early birthday present.
Muhl, who turned 18 today, announced via Twitter that she had committed to UConn. She chose the Huskies over Louisville, Ohio State, Oregon, and South Florida, and is the second member of the Class of 2020 to pick UConn. Top-rated recruit Paige Bueckers, a 5-11 guard from Eden Prairie, Minnesota, made her choice public on April 1.
Muhl plays for Croatian club team TreĹˇnjevka in her hometown. She said the league TreĹˇnjevka is in is the third-strongest in Europe and that they also playing nationally.
But she said last Thursday that in order to raise her level of play she needs to play college ball in America.
â€śI want to play in the United States because of the education I can get here but also because of the high level of basketball that is here,â€ť Muhl said. â€śI love how Americans think about basketball. I love how they represent it. I could go always back to Europe in a couple but playing here would be an experience and an opportunity not many people back home get.
â€śIâ€™m looking at the team chemistry, looking forward to strong practices, and high concentration. Iâ€™m looking forward to having a chance to play in a crowded arena and playing in front of a lot of people.â€ť
Muhl was in the Tampa, Florida, area last week to participate in the first Womenâ€™s Next Generation program. Six members of USA Basketballâ€™s junior teams - including Bueckers - and more than 30 NBA Academies womenâ€™s program participants from Africa, Australia, China and Latin America, in addition to select players from Canada and Europe took part in a three-day minicamp.
She describes herself as unselfish.
â€śI always try to find the person who is in the best position to score,â€ť Muhl said. â€śIâ€™m a playmaker and thatâ€™s my job. But I have a lot of things that I need to work on to help me describe myself.â€ť
UConn first contacted Muhl via e-mail in January and UConn coach Geno Auriemma traveled to Croatia for a home visit on March 14. While in Tampa, she attended UConnâ€™s Final Four semifinal game with Notre Dame Friday night.