On Friday evening just in front of the main entrance at the Pavello Fontajau, Girona’s Ariel McDonald kissed two-year old son Bailey goodbye so that he could meet up with his team. As Ariel walked away, Bailey was crying and holding out his arms hoping his father would come back immediately.
This evening, the father and son were celebrating together a EuroCup title and the elder McDonald’s MVP performance.
Ariel McDonald was brilliant in the EuroCup Final Four, scoring a personal EuroCup season-high 25 in the final to go along with 21 in the semis.
|Bailey and Ariel McDonald shared a special evening together.|
He was a lights out 10-of-16 from three-point range in the two games combined.
“I have been working hard to get myself in the position and my hard work paid off,” said McDonald.
The 35-year old is no stranger to MVP performance. Back in 2001, he claimed MVP honours at the 2001 Suproleague while with Maccabi Tel Aviv.
“This is one is more special because when you are younger you take success for granted,” he said.
“To be 35 years of age and still performing at a top level means a lot.”
What also differentiates the MVP is having son Bailey with him. As Girona lined up for their celebration photos, both Bailey and Ariel had their index fingers in air.
“It is every basketball player and father’s dream to have the opportunity to perform for a top European title and to be able to share this with a son. I will always remember that I was able to share this moment with my son.”
Head coach Svetislav Pesic offered strong words of praise for McDonald at the press conference following the victory celebration.
What impressed Pesic most was not his lights out shooting, but rather is play on the opposite end of the floor.
“He played big in both the semis and the finals,” Pesic said.
“But not just on offense, but also on defense. On Friday he shut down Estu’s top scorer, Garnett, and today he a great job against Liadellis.”
McDonald concluded by not taking individual credit for his success.
“I want to thank God that he gave me the possibility to have such a moment and that he gave me the courage and strength to play the way I did.”