Barnes Adds Seven Wildcats for 2024-25 - University of Arizona Athletics (2024)

TUCSON - Arizona Women's Basketball Head Coach Adia Barnes has added seven student-athletes to the program's 2024-25 roster, as announced by the program on Friday.

Arizona has added freshmen Katarina Kneževic, Mailien Rolf and Lauryn Swann in addition to transfers Sahnya Jah (South Carolina), Paulina Paris (North Carolina), Jorynn Ross (Pepperdine) and Ajae Yoakum (FIU).


Kneževicjoins Arizona from Belgrade, Serbia, where she competed with WBC Crvena Zvezda. She was an All-State First Team selection for the 2021-22 season and was named second MVP of the Serbia Women's Basketball Division 1 League. In the 2022-23 season, Kneževicaveraged 18.7 points and 9.1 rebounds per game, averaging 31.6 minutes per contest. She played for Serbia's U18 and U20 National Teams in the 2023 European Championships and is a part of the squad that has qualified for the 2025 FIBA Women's Eurobasket. In the U18 European Championships she averaged 12.4 points and 6.6 rebounds per game and averaged eight points and 6.9 rebounds per game in the U20 European Championships. She has additionally played soccer and won first place in an All-City literature competition in 2023.

"Katarina is an exceptional player," said Barnes. "She is the first Serbian player in our program's history. She is strong, tall, and is a tremendous shooter. I call her 'The Sniper'. She is relentless, competitive, and she is a fighter. Her game is really mature and she's going to add so much to our team. She can play a lot of positions and can stretch the floor for us. She is a skilled shooter and she's not afraid of anything. Her mentality is going to separate her from the rest of the pack."

Mailien Rolf

Rolf heads to Tucson from Roßdorf, Germany, where she has competed for the German U20, U18, U17 and U16 National Teams throughout her career. In 2023 she competed at the U20 and U18 European Basketball Championships, helping her U20 team to a second-place finish in the tournament (Division B) and averaging 12 points, 4.6 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game with her U18 squad. She additionally competed with Germany's U18 team at the 2022 Women's Basketball European Championship (Division A), helping the team to a fourth-place finish. Rolf was a Vize European Champion with the U20 National Team in 2023.

"We are delighted to welcome Mailien to the Wildcat family," Barnes said. "She is really smart. She is really good at pick-and-roll situations and can play a lot of positions for us. She has a strong, athletic body, and has good size as a perimeter player. She will get even better here. She is a great player, but an even greater person. Mailien has potential to be a very special player."

Lauryn Swann

Swann rounds out the freshman class and will come to the Arizona program from Queens, N.Y., where she played for Long Island Lutheran. The 5-7 guard is a four-star recruit and is the 81st-ranked player in the class of 2024 by ESPN HoopGurlz. She averaged 13 points, three assists and three rebounds per game as a senior.

"Lauryn is a tremendous addition to our family," Barnes said. "She is tough, competitive, and she does a great job of navigating ways to be successful in multiple roles. She is what I like to call a 'DAWG'. Her shooting ability is underrated. She can play on the ball and off the ball and adding her to our backcourt makes us a lot better. She fits our team and adds a tremendous amount of chemistry. She is so resilient. She has faced a lot of adversity and has done a great job of navigating hard situations. She took a chance, she bet on herself, and she made a great decision."

Sahnya Jah

Jah joins the Arizona program from South Carolina where she spent her freshman season. A 6-0 forward from Alexandria, Va., she appeared in 16 games and averaged 3.1 points and 2.0 rebounds per game. She scored a career-high eight points in the Gameco*cks' win over Clemson and gathered a career-best seven rebounds against Mississippi Valley.

"We are so blessed to welcome Sahnya," said Barnes. "She is such a special player. I remember seeing her for the first time and saying to myself, 'Wow I want a player like that!' She is someone that everyone gravitates towards, a fierce competitor, and a gifted athlete. She is going to be a star here at Arizona."

Paulina Paris

Paris, a junior from Congers, N.Y., played in 15 games for North Carolina and made eight starts in her sophom*ore season. She averaged 6.2 points, 1.8 rebounds and 1.3 assists per game in two seasons with the Tar Heels and appeared in all 33 games her freshman year. Paris scored 22 points, a career best, in North Carolina's win over Clemson her freshman year and grabbed a career-high five steals in that matchup. She was the 27th-ranked recruit by ESPN HoopGurlz in the class of 2022.

"Welcome to the family!" said Barnes. "Paulina is a talented player. She has a very high basketball IQ, and she makes her teammates better. Her ability to shoot the ball with deep range will open up so many opportunities for her teammates. I also love players from New York because they bring a toughness with them! Bear Down!"

Jorynn Ross

Ross joins Arizona from Pepperdine where she was named to the 2024 West Coast Conference (WCC) All-Freshman Team and was a two-time WCC Freshman of the Week. She posted a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds at Saint Mary's and scored a career-best 16 points against NAU. She averaged 6.1 points and 4.0 rebounds across 29 games, making 14 starts. She was Pepperdine's second-leading rebounder and was second on the team in total rebounds with 116.

"I am excited to welcome Jorynn to our family," Barnes said. "She has a high ceiling, and she most recently came off of a great freshman year. Jorynn's character and strong work will lead her to amazing things on and off of the court."

Ajae Yoakum

Yoakum comes to Arizona after two seasons at FIU and two sesons at Eastern Arizona College. She poured in a career-best 30 points against Alabama A&M and recorded three double-doubles throughout the 2023-24 season, highlighted by a 19-point, 10-rebound performance against Coppin State. She attained CUSA Honorable Mention Team honors after her last year at FIU after averaging 10.4 points 5.6 rebounds per game.

"We are excited to welcome Ajae to our Wildcat family. Ajae is a versatile forward with great athleticism. She is an aggressive scorer and a dynamic rebounder. I also love that she loves to play defense! I am thrilled she will spend her last year with us in Tucson with the best fans in the country!"

The future is bright for Arizona Women's Basketball.

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Barnes Adds Seven Wildcats for 2024-25 - University of Arizona Athletics (2024)


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