Aari McDonald’s impressive season continues to be recognized as she was named the winner of the Ann Meyers Drysdale Award on Monday by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, and she becomes the first player in school history to win one of the five positional awards.
The award is named after the first player, male or female, named to an All-American Team in their four seasons and is awarded to the best shooting guard in the country. The finalists came down to McDonald, Haley Gorecki (Duke), Kathleen Doyle (Iowa), Dana Evans (Louisville), and Chennedy Carter (Texas A&M).
With the UA guard getting the nod, the list of accolades continues to be added to McDonald’s resume this season as she had already locked up the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year, All-Pac-12 team honors and is still in the running for more awards.
Helping lead the ‘Cats to a 24-7 record before the season was cut short, she led the Pac-12 in scoring at 20.6 points per game and steals averaging 2.3 per contest. She finished No. 10 in the country in scoring, while also holding the longest active streak in the nation of scoring in double figures at 66-straight games.
One can only imagine that streak will continue next year as McDonald is due back after agreeing to return for her final year of eligibility.
The UA team is returning other key pieces like forwards Sam Thomas, Cate Reese and Helena Pueyo, as well as new additions like Indiana transfer Bendu Yeaney and Oklahoma transfer Shaina Pellington. McDonald and company are poised for another successful season next year and possibly redemption for a season that was taken away from them without a fighting chance.
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