Arizona women's basketball: Aari McDonald to return for senior season

Aari McDonald.

Anthony Gimino

There is a good news amid these difficult times: Star guard Aari McDonald is returning for her senior season with the Arizona Wildcats.

There is still unfinished business after the NCAA Tournament was canceled amid the COVID-19 pandemic, as the Wildcats were set to host the first two rounds of the tourney, in great shape to make a run at the Sweet 16.

McDonald tweeted the news Sunday:

She could have entered the WNBA draft (although the league's 2020 season figures to be in jeopardy at this point).

"We were devastated when we learned that all of our hard work would not be rewarded by representing Arizona in the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 15 years, knowing that we were going to make some magic happen in March," she wrote on social media.

"...With that being said, and after many long talks with my family and fiance, I have made the decision to return next season.

"I'm already counting down the days until I can get back on the court with my teammates, and I can't wait to play one more season in front of the best fans in the country. Stay tuned, because the best is yet to come."

McDonald, who will be a fifth-year senior, continued to pile on her accolades last week, being named one of the four finalists for the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) Wade Trophy. She was named a second-team All-American by the United States Basketball Writers Association and the Associated Press. 

She was also the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year and led the league in scoring (20.6 points) and steals (2.3) per game this season.

McDonald has scored in double figures in 66 consecutive games, the longest active streak in the nation. She led Arizona to 24 wins this season as the Wildcats were fourth in the powerful Pac-12, Arizona’s best finish since 2011.