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Aari McDonald's return to Arizona

Posted at 10:10 PM, Aug 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-17 01:10:52-04

TUCSON, Arizona — When we last saw Aari McDonald, the WNBA's Atlanta Dream was drafting her No. 3 overall shortly after she led the Wildcats to the NCAA Championship game.

"My mindset was to be positive," McDonald said. "Be a sponge. And, when your number is called, you go in there and do your job."

However, playing for the Dream hasn't gone as smoothly as one had hoped. Their record is 6-14, and Darious Taylor is already the team's third head coach since drafting her.

"I've been telling myself to stay positive. And, sometimes change is good. Hey, it might be hard but we're embracing it."

Helping her through the transition is Wildcat coach Adia Barnes, who is also a former WNBA player.

"She's been sharing quotes with me every day to stay positive. Stay encouraged and be professional. Do your job and go in there and play your game."

McDonald scored five points in her return to Arizona on Sunday as the Dream lost to the Phoenix Mercury 92-81. One bucket came on one of her trademark steals. She's been more of a vocal leader in recent games, as she now tries to help turn around a professional team, just the way she did in college.