Information from Arizona’s media relations department contributed to this report:
After helping bring Arizona women’s basketball into the national spotlight, Aari McDonald is set to be inducted into the Arizona Ring of Honor on Friday at McKale Center following the Wildcats’ Pac-12 opener against Washington State.
Her name will be enshrined with the likes of Davellyn Whyte, Ify Ibekwe, Shawntice Polk, Dee Dee Wheeler and Arizona coach Adia Barnes.
“I’m excited to have one of my players back and honor her,” Barnes said during Wednesday’s press conference.
In this person’s opinion, she is tied with Sean Elliott as being the most influential and talented player to play for Arizona at McKale Center, men or women.
McDonald broke onto the scene as a redshirt sophomore during the 2018-19 season as she set the program’s single-season scoring record with 890 points. In just her second game with the Wildcats, McDonald tied the single-game scoring record with 39 points against Loyola Marymount.
The Fresno, Calif., native broke that record and became the first Wildcat in program history to score at least 40 points when she dropped 44 at Texas on Nov. 17, 2019.
McDonald would go on to become Arizona’s first First-Team All-American while also winning the Ann Meyers-Drysdale Award given to the nation’s top shooting guard following the 2019-20 season.
McDonald earned multiple All-America honors, twice each by the WBCA and USBWA and three times by the AP. Along with her national accolades, McDonald would be named Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year twice while also earning Pac-12 Player of the Year honors as a senior.
During the Wildcats’ run to the 2021 National Championship game, McDonald averaged 24.8 points on 47 percent shooting from the field and 48 percent shooting from 3-point range. She drilled 19 combined 3’s in the last four games of the NCAA Tournament while dropping 31 points in the Sweet 16 and 33 in the Elite Eight.
McDonald holds the Arizona record for single-season and single-game scoring as well as the record for scoring average. She ranks third in program history with 2,041 points, accomplishing the feat with the fewest games played by anyone in the top-10 (93).
She became the school’s highest WNBA draft pick as she was drafted third overall by the Atlanta Dream in the 2021 WNBA draft.
McDonald’s career accomplishments:
Arizona career leader in points per game
Third all-time on the Arizona scoring list
Arizona single-season and single-game scoring records
Third overall pick in the 2021 WNBA Draft
2021 Pac-12 Player of the Year
Three-time AP All-American
Two-time WBCA All-American
Two-time USBWA All-American
2020 & 2021 Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year
Three-time Pac-12 All-Defense
Six-time Pac-12 Player of the Week
2020 Ann Meyers Drysdale Award Winner
2019 Arizona Athletics Female Co-Sophomore of the Year
2017 Pac-12 All-Freshman