Aari McDonald named a finalist for Naismith Defensive Player of the Year

TUCSON, AZ – With the 2019-20 Arizona Women’s Basketball season all over, the accolades are rolling in, especially for Wildcat star, Aari McDonald.

It was a year that was unfortunately cut too short. Amidst growing concern of the Corona Virus, Aari McDonald and the Arizona Women’s Basketball dream season came to an abrupt end.

Billed as arguably one of the best in school history, it looked as if the Wildcats might have been poised to make a deep, tournament. However, fate said otherwise.

Either way, we are now nearly two weeks removed from the ‘No Sports’ hiatus and with the season officially, the accolades and awards are starting to come in!

Making news on Monday morning was that Arizona’s very own in Aari is being recognized as a finalist for the Naismith Defensive Player of the Year!

With all the attention (deservedly so) she gets about being an elite offensive player, much tends to get lost on her defensive abilities, which are also elite.

In the 25 games she played in, Aari finished the year averaging 20.6 points, 3.6 assists and 5.8 rebounds per game. That’s also not to be outdone by her 2.6 steals per game.

Aari impacts the game on so many levels, and due to her and the rest of the Wildcats’ efforts, Arizona was able to finish the season 24-7 (12-6) overall, their second highest win total in school history.

Additionally, Arizona finished the season ranked No. 12, which is their highest ranking since 1998!

As for Aari, it’s unknown if she will return or turn pro, but there is no doubt she had a tremendous year, also being named the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year, being named an AP Second Team All-American, and a U.S. Basketball Writers Association Second Team All-American.

If only we could have seen what could have truly happened this postseason.

Anyways, at Zona Zealots, we’re proud of our Wildcats in all that they were able to do, and hope they can replicate their success in 2020-21 and beyond! As always, Bear Down, Arizona!

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