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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


The queen of the court begins the end of her reign

Nathanial Stenchever

Cate Reese runs onto the court in the first exhibition game of the season for the Arizona women’s basketball team on Oct. 27, in McKale Center. The Wildcats took on West Texas A&M University and won 86-63. Reese scored 13 points in 24 minutes on the court. 

The 2022-23 year is Cate Reese’s fifth season on the Arizona women’s basketball team. The power forward is ready to make up for lost time on the court after coming off a dislocated shoulder injury that left her on the bench since the NCAA Tournament last spring. She was cleared to practice late September, seven months after undergoing surgery to repair torn tendons and a labrum.

The 6-foot-2 player from Cypress, Texas, entered the University of Arizona rated the fourth-best post player by ESPN and one of the highest prospects that the Arizona women’s basketball program has ever seen. She was ranked 14th in the country when she signed. When she played for Cypress Woods High School, Reese averaged 30.6 points and 15.3 rebounds per game, making her a five-star recruit.

This outstanding performance continued after high school. In her first year on the Arizona women’s basketball team, she started in 37 games, the most seen by a freshman in the UA’s history.

Reese owns an AP Honorable Mention All-American that she earned her senior year at the UA. Averaging 14.6 points and 6.2 rebounds per game, Reese is the seventh highest player in program history for scoring and fourth for total rebounds.

She was the first Pac-12 Player of the Week last season and is the seventh Arizona player to be selected as an honoree for All-Pac-12 honors in three straight seasons. She is predicted to tie the current record holder Davellyn Whyte, who earned four in her career. 

Reese is also starting the season secured with a spot on the Katrina McClain Award preseason watch list for 2023. Presented by the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association and the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, the award will go to the best power forward in women’s college basketball. This is the third time in her career that she has earned a spot on this list. In the 2020 season, Reese was a top 10 finalist. She also made the midseason watch list for the Naismith Trophy, awarded to the best player in women’s college basketball.

Reese accumulated 19 double-doubles last season; this puts her on the board as sixth most for a Wildcat. Not only did she end the season in the top 10 of the program records in books with 1,528 points and 774 rebounds, she was the third player in program history to score 1,500 points and grab 750. Arizona lost three of their four last games of the season — including their only regular season home loss against UCLA — and the second round of the NCAA Tournament after losing Reese from the lineup due to a dislocated shoulder.

Reese primarily played as the power forward last year but has also played center during her previous four years with Arizona. 

Being diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in her sophomore year of high school, Reese manages a diagnosis that has the potential to hinder her athletic career. In an Arizona road trip in 2020, Reese was hospitalized twice due to unsafe sugar levels. She was taken in that Thursday, played a game Friday and was back in the hospital Saturday. 

Although college basketball is her main priority, she also spends a lot of time on academic pursuits, making the winter academic honor roll in both 2020 and 2021. As a business management major, Reese is spending her extra year earning her master’s degree. 

Last year, Reese was among some of the first NCAA athletes to sign a company endorsement. She signed a NIL deal to promote Newegg during the women’s college basketball tournament. 

Reese’s returned to the court in an exhibition game against West Texas A&M University on Oct. 27. She was the second-highest scorer with a total of 13 points. It was also her first time playing with the seven new faces on Arizona’s roster. 

As the longest-standing Wildcat on the court, her leadership will be expected to come into play more than ever. 

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