Adia Barnes continues to collect talent from all over the globe.
This time from Scandinavia.
Arizona women’s basketball has landed a commitment from Iceland’s Birna Benonysdottir, per a source close to the program.
The 6-foot-3 center becomes the second player in UA’s 2019 recruiting class. The other is Latvian guard Mara Mote.
“I’m willing to recruit anywhere and I will go everywhere,” Barnes said last June. “I don’t feel like I have to settle here. I’m in a great place. I’m in the best conference, I have the best administration, so for me this place is special, so it deserves to get great people.”
Benonysdottir plays for Iceland’s women’s national team. She averaged 16.6 points and 7.7 rebounds per game in the 2017 FIBA U18 Women’s European Championship.
She also plays for Keflavik, an Icelandic club team, where she averaged 9.1 points and 3.5 rebounds in 17.7 minutes this past season, per EuroBasket. Benonysdottir shot 47 percent from the field, 17 percent from 3 (14-81), and 75 percent from the free-throw line.
Benonysdottir will add size to an Arizona team that has lacked it the last several years, though that will be changing quickly.
Arizona’s 2018 class, which ranked No. 5 in the country, includes 6-foot-5 Semaj Smith, 6-foot-2 Cate Reese — a McDonald’s All-American — and 6-foot-3 Valeria Trucco (an Italian player).
Plus, the Wildcats have Purdue transfer Dominque McBryde, a 6-foot-2 junior who sat out the 2017-18 season due to NCAA rules.
A dearth of size (and other factors) has kept the Wildcats in the Pac-12 cellar in recent seasons, as they have not won more than four conference games since 2010-11, but they are expected to make marked improvement in 2018-19 after going 6-24 last year.