clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Arizona women’s basketball notebook: On pro signings, the health of Aari McDonald, recruiting, and more

New York Liberty v Atlanta Dream Photo by Adam Hagy/NBAE via Getty Images

Basketball season never stops—at least in Tucson. Even when the team isn’t playing games, there’s recruiting, professional contracts, and national team commitments to keep track of. What’s going on with current, former, and potentially future Wildcats?

Cate Reese signs with Belgium first-division club

Former five-year starter Cate Reese was disappointed when she didn’t get drafted into the WNBA, but she hasn’t let that slow down her professional dreams. She’s had a strong pro debut with the Australia’s second division NBL1 team the Gold Coast Rollers. She averages 22.9 points and 8.4 rebounds per game while hitting 42.9 of her 3-point shots. All of those numbers are better than her best season at Arizona. Now, she’s taking the next step.

Reese has signed with Kangoeroes Basket Mechelen in Belgium as announced by her agent on social media. The team competes in Belgium’s first division. Last season, the Kangoeroes led their domestic league with a 19-1 record but went 2-12 in Euroleague competition.

Cate Reese signed to Kangoeroes Mechelen

Aari McDonald appears to be getting healthy

Aari McDonald tore her labrum just five games into the WNBA season. She appears to be getting closer to full health, though. Recent Dream telecasts indicated that she was close to returning to the court. The team waived guard Taylor Mikesell on July 3, perhaps indicating that McDonald will return soon.

Trinity Baptiste and Lebanon maintain place in Division A

Trinity Baptiste and her new national team did what they set out to do at the FIBA Asia Cup in June. The goal of the Lebanese team was to maintain its position in Division A.

It was expected to be a contest between Lebanon and the Philippines to see who would be relegated to Division B. It turned out to be a contest between Lebanon and Chinese Taipei. Baptiste and her team came out on top in the classification game, finishing seventh in the tournament and maintaining their place in Division A.

Baptiste had a big impact in her first tournament since becoming a naturalized citizen of Lebanon. While she struggled in the opening game against the eventual champions from China, she followed that up with a double-double of 20 points and 12 rebounds against Korea. She ended the tournament with a stat line of 12.8 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 2.5 assists while shooting 41.3 percent from the field.

News should be out soon about her next landing spot. She said that she expects to sign with a team in Turkey’s first division league. She would not name the team because the contracts still needed to be signed.

Esmery Martinez and the Dominican Republic make the rounds

Fifth-year senior Esmery Martinez is doing a tour of the Americas this summer. She and her Dominican teammates took the silver medal in the Central American and Caribbean Games to start things off. They’re now in Mexico for the FIBA AmeriCup.

Martinez averaged 15.6 points and 8.8 rebounds over five games in the CAC Games, finishing in the top six in both categories over the course of the tournament. She also contributed 1.2 blocks per game, placing fourth among all players in the competition.

The Dominican Republic has had a rough start at the AmeriCup. They lost their opening game to the hosts from Mexico by the score of 69-62. The Dominicans got off to a hot start but couldn’t maintain that against Mexico. Martinez did her part, though, contributing 18 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 steal, and 1 block.

The game against Puerto Rico wasn’t close at all. The Puerto Rican team, which features former Colorado star Mya Hollingshed, dominated in a 73-47 win. Martinez started the game but played just 4:48. She was substituted out less than five minutes into the game and never returned.

Martinez had five rebounds in her time on the floor, but she struggled in other parts of the game. She ended 0-4 from the field with a foul and a turnover in her short appearance.

The Dominican Republic next plays at 4:40 p.m. MST on July 3. The team faces Colombia. The game is available to stream at Courtside 1891 for a subscription fee.

Breya Cunningham is off to join USA Basketball

Freshman Breya Cunningham was a late addition to the U.S. U19 Women’s World Cup team. She was set to leave for training camp on July 2. The team will train in Colorado Springs, Colo. for the tournament, which tips off in Madrid, Spain on July 15.

Visits and finalists!

The summer is a good time for recruiting visits. Arizona has had several in recent weeks, both official and unofficial. Other recruits have included the Wildcats among their finalists.

  • Taliyah Henderson, a local 4-star wing from Salpointe Catholic, posted pictures of her recent unofficial visit to campus last Friday. The class of 2025 recruit is ranked No. 33 in ESPN’s Top 60 for that class.
  • Holland Harris, a fellow 4-star wing in the class of 2025, posted about her unofficial visit earlier in the week. It was quite a trek for Harris, who plays her prep basketball for Faith Christian Academy in Florida. She also visited Arizona State while she was out West. Harris is ranked No. 51 in the class.
  • Lexi Blue made the trip out from Florida, as well. However, Blue appeared to be on an official visit. The class of 2024 wing plays for Lake Highland Prep and is a four-star recruit according to ESPN. Blue has taken a number of unofficial visits, going to Georgia Tech, Tennessee, UCF, Florida State, Ohio State, Virginia Tech, Maryland, Harvard, Boston College, Miami, and Columbia. She has two visits on her Instagram feed that do not indicate they are unofficial. Those a second visit to Georgia Tech and her visit to Tucson.
  • Jordan Lee, a 5-star point guard out of St. Mary’s High School in Stockton, Calif., put out her top 11 list on Sunday via her club team. Arizona made the cut along with Michigan, USC, South Carolina, Baylor, Louisville, Duke, North Carolina, Texas, Florida State, and Stanford. Lee is ranked No. 9 in the class of 2024.