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Though many of our upcoming plans in covering sporting events had to be shuttered, our commitment to providing insightful stories and discussions about sports remains intact, and our latest edition of The A Lot of Sports Talk Podcast features a conversation with University of Arizona women’s basketball head coach Adia Barnes, a Naismith Trophy Coach of the Year Finalist in 2020. More important than basketball, Barnes, of Italian descent on her mother’s side and married to Wildcat assistant coach and Italian-born Salvo Coppa, starts our conversation with updates on her family’s health status in Italy, one of the nations hit hardest by the coronavirus pandemic. She also went into detail about how she and her family in the States were able to prepare ahead of time for the possible arrival of the virus given that the pandemic’s effects in Italy had taken hold before it came to America and her family was able to give her a head start in their prep.
The honor of being recognized as one of the top coaches in 2020 came because of the Wildcats’ 24 wins overall and 12 triumphs in Pac-12 play (most in league play since 2004), and Barnes explains how her team broke through to reside near the top of the best league in the nation in women’s basketball. Also, Barnes discusses what makes All-America Second Team guard Aari McDonald a special player, her role in McDonald’s decision to return for her senior season in 2020-21 and why the coach believes her team was overlooked nationally in terms of recognition. Barnes’ peers recognized her work this season, and she also talks about what being named a Coach of the Year finalist meant to her, as well as the impact her college coach, Joan Bonvicini, had — and continues to have — in her life on and off the court.
Please enjoy the podcast, and leave us any and all comments that you have. Click here to go to the A Lot of Sports Talk podcast page on Apple Podcasts, or click here to find the podcast on Google Play Music. From there, you can download this show as well as subscribe to our podcast page and receive new episodes on your device the second it is posted. You can also open iTunes, and in the Podcasts section, type in “The ‘A Lot of Sports Talk’ Podcast” in the search window to find our shows.
Interview Order: Intro (0:00 – 5:59); Adia Barnes (6:02 – 43:10); Wrap-up (43:14 – 46:00)