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Arizona adds walk-on Lakin Gardner to finalize 2020-21 roster

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

The Arizona Wildcats women’s basketball team has finalized its roster by adding Lakin Gardner as a walk-on. The 5-foot-11 freshman hails from Spokane, Washington where she attended Gonzaga Prep.

Arizona is listing her as a guard but she was a post player in high school. Gardner averaged 12.0 points per game as a senior and made a career-best 13 3-pointers. She scored 15 or more points in six of her last seven games.

Gardner will wear No. 31 with the Wildcats.

She will get to return to Spokane in the 2021-22 season when the Wildcats face the Gonzaga Bulldogs. Sources say Arizona is scheduled to host Gonzaga in 2020-21 to begin that home-and-home series, though that could be up in the air due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The addition of Gardner brings Arizona’s roster total to the maximum of 15. She is just the third walk-on to play for the Wildcats under Adia Barnes. The two others were Ali Reese and Lindsey Malecha, who eventually earned a scholarship.

Division I women’s basketball programs are allotted 15 scholarships per season, hence why walk-ons are so rare.

Here’s a look at Arizona’s 15-person roster + some of Gardner’s highlights.

  1. Aari McDonald (Rs. Sr.)
  2. Sam Thomas (Sr.)
  3. Trinity Baptiste (Sr.)
  4. Cate Reese (Jr.)
  5. Shaina Pellington (Rs. Jr.)
  6. Semaj Smith (Jr.)
  7. Bendu Yeaney (Jr.)
  8. Helena Pueyo (So.)
  9. Mara Mote (So.)
  10. Tara Manumaleuga (So.)
  11. Sevval Gül (So.)
  12. Marta Garcia (Fr.)
  13. Derin Erdogan (Fr.)
  14. Lauren Ware (Fr.)
  15. Lakin Gardner (Fr.)