Fresno native McDonald goes to Atlanta with third pick in WNBA draft

College Sports

Arizona guard Aari McDonald (2) during the first half of a women’s Final Four NCAA college basketball tournament semifinal game against Connecticut at the Alamodome, Friday, April 2, 2021, in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

FRESNO, California (KSEE/KGPE) – Fresno native Aari McDonald was was taken by the Atlanta dream with the third overall pick in Thursday night’s WNBA draft.

The Arizona senior was named the Pac-12 Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year this season – and led the Wildcats to within one basket of a national championship.

She became the first-ever Arizona player to be a first round selection in the WNBA draft.

Aari is only 5 foot 6 inches tall, and in an interview with ESPN’s Holly Rowe moments after she was selected, she spoke about the challenge of continuing to put up big numbers in the WNBA.

“I just got to read them, read how they’re playing me,” McDonald told Rowe. “I’m not the tallest, so I got to use my speed as an advantage, use my up-and-under’s and just second moves.”

Aari played one year of high school basketball at Bullard High School, before transferring to a private high school in Stockton.

She spent one year at Washington in college, where she was named to the Pac-12 All-Freshman Team. She then transferred to Arizona and finished out her college career with three fantastic seasons with the Wildcats, averaging 24.1 points per game as a sophomore, 20.6 points per game as a junior, and 19.3 points per game this season as a senior.

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