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5-star point guard Kiki Rice has Arizona among finalists

Jr. NBA World Championship U.S. Semifinals - Mid-Atlantic Girls v Midwest Girls Photo by Gary Bassing/NBAE via Getty Images

If there’s ever a sign that Arizona women’s basketball has arrived, it’s this.

Kiki Rice, the No. 1 point guard of the 2022 class, has the Wildcats among her finalists. They are joined by traditional bluebloods like Stanford, UConn, Duke and Louisville:

The 5-foot-11 Rice hails from Washington D.C., where she was the 2020 Gatorade Player of the Year. She attends Sidwell Friends School where as a sophomore she averaged 26.8 points, 10.7 rebounds, 4.7 assists and just 0.8 turnovers per game while shooting 57 percent from the field and 33 percent from 3.

Here’s how ESPN evaluates her:

Athletic guard brings size and versatility to the back court; rebounds and handles in uptempo game, distributes with court awareness; manufactures shots, rises and delivers off the dribble, mid-range game threat moves to the arc; unselfish playmaker, distributor; a coveted guard prospect.

The Wildcats are also in the mix for No. 1 shooting guard KK Bransford.

Even if Arizona doesn’t land one of them, the fact they are even in consideration is a testament to how far the program has come under Adia Barnes.