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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Point guard Aari McDonald selected third overall by Atlanta Dream, Trinity Baptiste selected in second round of 2021 WNBA Draft

Ana Beltran
Aari McDonald (2) signs to her teammates about the next play.

Arizona women’s basketball point guard Aari McDonald didn’t have to wait very long to hear her name called as the Atlanta Dream selected McDonald with the third overall pick in the first round of the 2021 WNBA Draft. Arizona forward Trinity Baptiste was also selected, being taken in the second round of the 2021 WNBA Draft by the Indiana Fever with the 24th overall pick.

McDonald becomes the first Arizona Wildcat ever selected in the first round in the WNBA Draft. 

In her career at Arizona, McDonald earned the 2020-21 Pac-12 Player of the Year award and is also a two-time Defensive Player of the Year, Second Team All-American and also won the Ann Meyers Drysdale Award, awarded to the top shooting guard in the nation. 

McDonald’s draft stock soared after her performances in the 2021 NCAA tournament. Against No. 2 seeded Texas A&M in the Sweet 16, McDonald scored 31 points on a season-high six three-pointers. She then dropped 33 points against Indiana in the Elite Eight to lead the Wildcats to their first-ever Final Four in program history. 

She then carried the Wildcats past the No. 1 seeded UConn Huskies in the semi-finals to advance to the NCAA national championship game for the first time in program history before falling to No. 1 seeded Stanford. 

McDonald finished third on Arizona’s all-time scoring list and 10th on the Pac-12 all-time scoring list. She also holds the school record for single-season and single-game scoring. McDonald scored in double-figures in 93 straight games. 

Most mock drafts had the Wildcats’ night ending after McDonald’s selection but a pleasant surprise saw Baptiste’s name called later in the second round to the Indiana Fever.

Baptiste played just one season with the Wildcats as a graduate transfer from Virginia Tech. She started all 27 games for Arizona and averaged 8.6 points and 6.1 rebounds per game while shooting 44 percent from the field and 34 percent from beyond the arc.

The selections of McDonald and Baptiste make it just the second time in school history that multiple Arizona players have been selected on the same draft night.

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