When Cate Reese told people she was going to attend the University of Arizona, she was met with a certain response.
"People were confused about why I was coming here and not somewhere that had more success," Reese said.
Arizona Women's Basketball has had seven straight losing seasons, making it hardly the place for a McDonalds All-American. Reese is the first to garner that honor and attend Arizona.
"Last year was hard," said head coach Adia Barnes, referring to the Wildcats 6-24 record. "People told me that year two was going to be hard. I didn't think it was going to be that hard."
Barnes, a former Wildcat star player, is in her third year of trying to turn around the Wildcats program. It was her connection with Cate, who also wanted to be close to her sister Ali, a team manager, that landed the six foot three star at McKale Center.
"She brings competitiveness, energy, and drive," said Barnes. "She's fierce, and doesn't back down, as well as athletic. There are so many great words to describe her.
Reese also brings confidence. When Barnes was a Wildcat player, she set 22 individual records, including most career points and rebounds. Reese told Barnes she intends to break those records.
"I told her I hope so because it's not a good thing they've lasted this long," said Barnes.
Reese, a Cypurs, Texas native might be from the Lone Star State, but she's not the lone star on this year's team. The Wildcats have a consensus top-15 recruiting class. She is the prized recruit of a freshmen class ready to make their own legacy.
"I want to be part of something special," added Reese. "I want to be part of something where people would look back and say she was part of the team where they had success."