Megan Hustwaite4 Minute Read
What is it about Aari?
Fast, intelligent, and averaging a league-leading 27 points per game, Aari McDonald is the driving force behind the unbeaten start of the Perth Lynx’s season.
The Lynx have had great success recruiting WNBA players who have made a significant impact in recent WNBL seasons.
In the 2021-22 Grand Final campaign, it was sharpshooter Marina Mabrey (Chicago Sky) and Jackie Young who went on to win consecutive championships with the Las Vegas Aces after their time in Australia. Now, coach Ryan Petrik has found another gem in the California-born guard from the Atlanta Dream.
At the pre-season tournament in Brisbane, McDonald’s speed left the broadcast cameras in the dust, showcasing her unparalleled talent on the court.
“My speed is a huge weapon. I think my biggest asset is my quickness. I’m not the tallest, I’m not the strongest but I know that my speed is always going to take me places, take me further,” she said ahead of ESPN’s game of the round between Perth and Southside in Melbourne on Wednesday night.
“That’s how I feel I’m taking the league. I’m kind of hard to guard, I’m always trying to watch my body and maintain my speed.”
“And I love the way that Coach Ryan has us playing. Pace is number 1 and pace is a big thing especially having a point guard like me. I knew I was going to feel comfortable because it feels like my Arizona college team. It may be chaotic but OK who’s going to keep up with us?”
“Making sure we’re always fast paced and having me as decision maker feels good.”
McDonald, 25, is focused on helping Perth be successful while also working on her own game.
“I want to get better, work on my leadership, and be more vocal because I know I struggle with that, I’m quiet. Take care of the ball, I just want to be better in all aspects, even my strength. I want to sharpen that, I want to go back to the WNBA finetuned,” she says.
“I’m working on my game, but I want to make sure my Perth teammates are getting better and hopefully win a championship out here.”
Opals assistant coach Paul Goriss, who is also an assistant at Atlanta and this season with Canberra in the WNBL, helps McDonald with the fine tuning of her game.
“I love Paulie. He’s full of energy, we vibe, we talk about shoes, we talk about coffee.”
“He’s always positive. It’s very helpful having him here, even though he coaches another team in the league he always checks in on me, he’s watching me, telling me how to get better and gives me the confidence I need.”
Settled in WA with her husband Devon Brewer, McDonald is happy and focused on her career in professional basketball.
“My number 1 is to win a WNBA championship. I want to became an All-Star, I want to win Most Improved, I want to lead the league in steals and assists,” she says.
“My goals are big and I think I can achieve them but I need to keep working and be a great team mate as well as being a great player “Oh, and I’m hoping Jackie Young rubs off on me.”
Rachel Adams is your WNBA insider, delivering comprehensive coverage of women’s basketball. With a commitment to highlighting the talent and achievements of WNBA players, she provides game analysis, player profiles, and inspiring stories from the league.