Aari McDonald named Pac-12 Women’s Basketball Player of the Year


Arizona Wildcats guard Aari McDonald (2) handles the ball against the UCLA Bruins during an NCAA basketball game on Friday, Dec. 4, 2020 in Tucson, Ariz. (AP Photo/Jennifer Stewart)

SAN FRANCISCO (KSEE/KGPE) – The Pac-12 conference announced it’s Women’s Basketball awards on Monday, and Fresno native Aari McDonald was named the Pac-12 Player of the Year.

McDonald was also named the league’s Co-Defensive Player of the Year.

The Fresno native, who started her high school career at Bullard High School before transferring to Brookside Christian in Stockton after her freshman year, is tied for the conference lead in points per game (19.4), and has scored in double figures in 85 straight games, which is the longest streak in league history, as well as the longest active streak in NCAA Division I.

The senior joins former Stanford great Chiney Ogwumike (2013) as the only players in Pac-12 history to earn both Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year honors in the same season.

McDonald’s Arizona Wildcats went 15-4 during the regular season and 13-4 in conference play. They are currently ranked No. 11 in the nation in the AP Poll.

They will be the No. 2 seed in the Pac-12 Women’s Tournament, which gets underway Wednesday at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas. The Wildcats have a first-round bye and will open play in the tournament on Thursday in the quarterfinals against the winner of 10th-seeded Utah and 7th-seeded Washington State.

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