TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) -Joan Bonvicini coached Adia Barnes when she played at the University of Arizona, and she’s now a mentor to Barnes.
Bonvicini wants to world to know this is not the end of the University of Arizona’s Woman’s Basketball program. She knows Barnes will have them back on the biggest stage.
“If we said at the beginning of the season Arizona was going to be in the championship game we would like ‘Oh my god,’” said Bonvicini.
The history-shattering, Cinderella run the university made didn’t have a fairy tale ending.
“It’s hard, I mean she’s really disappointed she feels sick, to be honest,” said Bonvicini.
She says while it may be hard to see now, the bright spot in this is the experience.
“You really want to appreciate it because you don’t know if you’ll ever have another opportunity,” said Bonvicini. “However, knowing Adia, she’s going to be back here again.”
But to be back again, there’s a key.
“I think for Arizona, do everything to keep her,” said Bonvicini.
Bonvicini says Banes is an asset for reasons that extend far beyond the hardwood.
“It’s not for four years, but it’s for a lifetime,” said Bonvicini. “It’s all about relationships and that’s what Adia is. She’s the kind of coach that student-athletes and their parents should be proud to send them to Arizona.”
Many in the college basketball world would call Barnes’ future bright and her mentor, coach, and confidant would say no differently.
“I just try to encourage her,” said Bonvicini. “I believe in her and I’ll tell you Wildcat nation should believe in her and should be super excited that she’s our coach.”