STORRS — As much as UConn thrives in the present, it does just as well as preparing for the future. And the cementing this week of its four-player, 2014 recruiting class shows that the Huskies have no intention of slowing down.

UConn received national letters of intent from Sadie Edwards, a 5-foot-10 guard from Meriden; Courtney Ekmark, a 6-foot guard from Phoenix; Gabby Williams, a 5-11 guard from Sparks, Nev.; and Kia Nurse, a 6-foot guard from Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.

"Recruiting's kind of funny,'' coach Geno Auriemma said. "Ideally, when you're trying to put together a recruiting class you're looking for things that you're going to need that are going to help you sustain for a four-year period. So you're always thinking ahead four years.

"Getting the players that we got is perfect for us because it addresses an immediate need that we have. Don't get me wrong, I think there are others. But this group complements what we do and it complements each other. Not one of those players is identical to the other, which we try to stay away from. We try to stay away from recruiting players that are similar. That's when you run into problems.''

Edwards began her career at Mercy High in Middletown before transferring to Nazareth High in New York as a sophomore. She currently plays at Blair Academy in New Jersey, where she led the team to a 21-3 record and its third-straight Prep A state title last season.

Ekmark was named Gatorade Arizona Player of the Year last season, averaging 19.6 points, five rebounds and four steals in leading St. Mary's High to a 29-1 record and its third-straight Division I state championship. She is now being home-schooled.

Williams averaged 18 points, 10 rebounds and seven steals in leading Reed High to the Class 4A state championship as a sophomore. She was averaging 30 points, 11 rebounds, six assists, and seven blocks last season when she tore the anterior cruciate ligament and partially tore the meniscus in her right knee Jan. 19. She was fully cleared to play Oct. 10.

Nurse starred on Team Canada's FIBA Americas U16 Championships in 2011 and the U17 World Championships in 2012 and averaged 10.0 points as Team Canada finished second in the 2013 FIBA Americas Championship, helping it clinch a spot in the World Championship in 2014.

"They love basketball,'' Auriemma said of the quartet. "They love to play. They watch it a lot. They study it a lot. They're in the gym a lot. So that's a huge plus right there. I think in order to be really good here you have to love the game."

Trading Charles?

Management of the WNBA's Connecticut Sun says it does not want to trade center Tina Charles, the 2012 MVP, league rebounding record-setter and former UConn All-American, even though there is reason to believe she might not object to a deal.

"I don't know that's the case [that Charles is unhappy in Connecticut]," Chris Sienko, the Sun general manager, said. "Our expectations and our druthers is that she will play here. If she finds a situation she seems to like better, we'll look at it for her — if it works for us. But that [deal] would have to involve a highly significant return."

Manuel CommitedTo Local Donors

UConn athletic director Warde Manuel tells the Courant that UConn and IMG, which negotiates broadcast, marketing and adverstising contracts for the university, have no plans to seek a naming rights deal with a major corporation for the face of its new basketball practice facility.

"UConn athletics and the UConn Foundation will continue to solicit gifts for the building of the UConn Basketball Champions Center," Manuel said. "In the past, we have received some incredibly generous gifts from private donors who care deeply about UConn's basketball programs.

"We continue to actively work to complete the fundraising effort [for the center], but have not been actively speaking to corporations about naming [rights] for the facility."