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Arizona women’s basketball freshman profile: Cate Reese

The highest-rated player to ever sign with Arizona women’s basketball brings skill, energy and determination

Cate Reese
Arizona Athletics

Last season, the Arizona women’s basketball team was extremely short-handed on the hardwood. That is being rectified this year with a freshman class of five and three newly-eligible transfers joining the returnees from the 2017-18 team.

The freshmen started arriving on campus for summer classes and workouts last month, with three of the five already practicing with their teammates and coaching staff. The highly-ranked class is headlined by 2018 McDonald’s All-American Cate Reese.

Cate Reese

Hometown: Cypress, Texas (Houston metro area)

High School: Cypress Woods

Class: Freshman

Height: 6’2”

Position: Power forward

High School Career


2014-15 Freshman 12.2 0.6 8.3 0.9 0.4
2015-16 Sophomore 20.8 0.5 12.8 1.2 0.4
2016-17 Junior 22.3 1.1 13.2 1.6 1
2017-18 Senior 30.8 1.1 15.3 2.2 1.3
Yearly stats for Cate Reese

Honors and Achievements

  • Played varsity all four years of high school
  • Became the all-time scoring leader for Cypress Woods in January 2018 when she hit the 2,234 point mark. Ended her high school career with 2,536 points
  • Ended the 2017-18 season with 1,481 career rebounds, setting a new record for Cypress Woods
  • 2018 McDonald’s All-American
  • 2018 Naismith High School Girls’ Mid-Season Team
  • 2018 Naismith All-American Honorable Mention
  • Texas 17-6A District MVP in 2016 and 2018
  • Texas 17-6A District First Team in 2017
  • Texas Association of Basketball Coaches (TABC) all state performer in 2016, 2017 and 2018
  • Played on the Texas University Interscholastic League (UIL) 6A state championship team in 2014-15. Returned to the UIL 6A playoffs in 2015-16 and 2016-17
  • USA Today Texas First Team in 2018

Recruiting Notes

  • Received offers from over a dozen high major programs
  • ESPN recruiting notes repeatedly refer to her “high motor effort,” her desire to compete and her inside efficiency
  • Was ranked 12th overall in the 2018 class and 3rd at her position by ESPN HoopGurlz

What to expect in 2018-19 and beyond

Arizona’s lack of depth last year meant that many players were forced to play out of position. Destiny Graham was especially affected by this, giving up a great deal of size at both ends of the floor.

With the size Arizona has in the freshman class, this should no longer be an issue. Reese will join fellow freshman Semaj Smith to give the Wildcats both size and depth.

In addition to the rebounding help and ability to provide some interior intimidation on the defensive end, she is known for her ability to run the pick and roll at the other end of the floor.

In Reese’s words, “A lot of people, when they describe me, they say that I never stop, that I always keep running. And I think that with me and [point guard Aarion McDonald], she could really do some pick and rolls and we could work something out. And I just think that I bring a lot of power. I can rebound really well. And so I just think that I just run nonstop. So I think that’ll help us.”

Reese comes in with a lot of expectations, which could lead to a great deal of pressure. It doesn’t seem to phase her, though.

“Being a basketball player anyways, you always have some pressure,” she said. “You always have to be your best. So, I think that it is a little bit of pressure, but nothing I can’t handle.”

Even the expectations of breaking her coach’s records are just a challenge for her.

“[When] I first came here, Adia said no one’s broken her records yet, and that I would be the person to do that. I do have the potential to if I work really hard,” Reese said.

Adia Barnes still holds most Arizona records related to scoring, including career and season marks for points scored, scoring average, field goals made and free throws made.

Personal Notes

  • In addition to the pressures to perform on the court, Reese has health issues to manage. She was diagnosed with Type I diabetes during her high school playing career.
  • She spent her high school and AAU years playing alongside her older sister, Ali Reese. Ali wanted to attend a school with a good nursing program, and they both wanted to attend college together. Arizona gave them the opportunity to pursue both goals. Ali intended to help out as a student manager, but walked on last season to ease the depth issues Arizona faced. “She’s helped me out a lot,” Cate said about her sister. “She’s given me some things that I should already be prepared for and we’re really close. So, the fact that we get to be here together is even better.”