Summary List PlacementAari McDonald wants you to remember the name.
And while you’re here — it’s pronounced “AIR-e.”
The breakout star of March Madness led the No. 3 Arizona Wildcats on a surprising run to the national championship game.
With an average of 24.8 points per game on an impressive 47% shooting from the floor and 48% clip from behind the arc through her six 2021 NCAA tournament games, it’s no wonder McDonald’s draft stock skyrocketed heading into Thursday night’s selection show.
The Atlanta Dream picked the shifty sharpshooter with the third overall pick in the 2021 WNBA Draft. When the ESPN broadcast checked in with McDonald and her family shortly after her name was called, the Wildcats product was positioned in front of a floral backdrop with white neon writing in the center that read “Aari [AIR-e].”
Reminder:It’s pronounced “AIR-E”Congrats to Aari McDonald, the first Arizona player ever selected in the 1st Round of a #WNBADraft pic.twitter.com/HAeJiHpmZJ — The Undefeated (@TheUndefeated) April 15, 2021
“Just talking with my agents and my team, we thought that was a great idea,” McDonald told Insider after her big moment. “We want people to know my name. We thought that was a really important incorporation of tonight.”
It wasn’t the first time McDonald felt the need to clarify how people should address her. During her fantastical NCAA tournament run, she concluded a media availability session by telling the members of the press, “my name is AIR-e, not ARE-e. Sorry. That’s all I wanted to say.”
Put some respect on her name, y’all! #ncaaW pic.twitter.com/oEPVx19J8n — Erica L. Ayala (@elindsay08) April 3, 2021
After the draft, McDonald added that “my backdrop was definitely inspired by the NCAA run.”
She isn’t too worried if, even after her sensational March Madness performances and her newly-minted status as a top WNBA Draft pick, people still don’t know her name. They’ll figure it out soon enough.
“They’ll know it on the court for sure,” she said.Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: An NYC-based artist turns basketballs into handbags