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Arizona guard Aari McDonald to return for senior season

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The WNBA can wait

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: FEB 02 Women’s USC at Arizona Photo by Jacob Snow/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Arizona Wildcats guard Aari McDonald is returning for her senior season, she announced Sunday on Twitter.

She would have been a coveted selection in the 2020 WNBA Draft, but decided she still has some unfinished business with the Wildcats, whose historic 2019-20 season was cut short by the coronavirus crisis.

Here is the letter McDonald penned to Wildcat Nation:

“This past season was one that I will truly cherish for the rest of my life.There were so many memories that I created with my teammates and I hope our fans enjoyed the ride as much as we did.

We were devastated when we learned that all of our hard work would be rewarded by representing Arizona in the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 25 years, knowing that we were going to make some magic happen in March.

With that being said, and after many long talks with my family and fiancé, I have made the decision to return next season. I’m already counting down the days until I can get back on the court with my teammates, and I can’t wait to play one more season in front of the best fans in the country. Stay tuned because the best is yet to come.”

With McDonald back in the fold, the Wildcats, who also return second- and third-leading scorers Cate Reese and Sam Thomas, will enter the 2020-21 season as a legitimate Final Four contender.

ESPN ranked the Wildcats No. 7 in their way-too-early preseason rankings. They went 24-7 this season, ranking No. 12 in the final AP poll, putting them in line to be a 3-seed in the NCAA Tournament.

McDonald led the Pac-12 in scoring (20.6 PPG) and was also the conference’s Defensive Player of the Year after leading the Pac-12 in steals per game (2.3).