Julan McDonald is a second season basketball player for the Odessa College Wranglers. McDonald is a versatile athlete for the Wranglers, able to play virtually every position for the 11-3 and # 15 nationally ranked Wrangler Women. During the 2017-18 basketball season at OC, McDonald suffered a torn MCL injury and missed over half of the season.
Healthy once again, Julan is averaging 9.2 points and 7.5 rebounds per game during the 2018-19 season. Both parents played competitive basketball, therefore taking to the game came naturally to Julan, both at Blessed Cardinal Newman High School in Toronto, Canada and at the alternative school where she attended a fifth year of high school to complete some degree requirements for University acceptance.
Q: How did you find out about Odessa College?
A: Two former OC players from Toronto told Coach Baten about me and Coach B. contacted my mother and myself in Toronto. My mother really liked Coach Baten from the very beginning and still does to this day. I accepted the scholarship offer to OC without visiting because of the relationship with the coaches at Odessa College.
Q:Tell us about your injury and subsequent recovery?
A: It was really disappointing to be injured for the second time (Julan tore her ACL in her knee in high school). OC trainer Jeff Kelly and our coaches did a great job preparing me mentally and physically to deal with the injury, the rehab and the return to competition. I really have a great appreciation for Jeff Kelly for what he did for me. It was amazing to be able to return from the injury and participate in both the Regional and National Tournaments last year after rehabbing during most of the year.
Q: On the subject of post-season, what was it like playing in the regional and national tournaments?
A: It was fantastic, especially because our team became better and better each game through the post-season. The competition at each level from conference to the region tournament to the national tournament was improved each time. We lost to eventual national champion Shelton State Community College, Alabama and they were very talented. It showed me what I needed to work on and get better at in order to be successful at a higher level in basketball.
Q: What are your goals for this year, both personal and for the team?
A: I have the goal to maintain above a 3.50 GPA for the year and to graduate from OC in May. Relative to basketball, I want to personally become a better leader for our team, with the intent to make everyone around me better. Coach Baten and I have mutually agreed upon me needing to improve as a leader for the program. Our team goals are to win conference, play hard and together and to return to the NJCAA national tournament.
Q: How does this year's team compare to the 2017-18 group?
A: The team this year is more diverse, with individuals covering each skill set. I love playing with this team and love playing with Kamryn. We connect, both on and off the floor. I know what she is going to do and she knows what I am going to do on the court.
Q: What is the one thing that this team can improve upon?
A: Focus and intensity. We must become better at both. We have to focus in practice and play with a higher level of intensity.
Q: What are your plans for after Odessa College?
A: I would like to transfer to a Division 1 University on the West Coast. I have spent my entire life on the East Coast and would like to experience the West Coast.
Q: What is something we don't know about Julan McDonald?
A: I have a very diverse taste in music. I will listen to any type of music, except heavy metal. My mother exposed me to a wide variety of music throughout my life and I have always loved music.
Q: Favorite basketball player?
A: Kevin Durant.
Q: What do you like best about Odessa College?
A: The environment is really positive and friendly and safe. We always have support for the students for everything we need at OC.
The Wrangler Women travel to Midland College tomorrow night for a NJCAA Top 25 matchup. OC enters the game ranked #15 in the country, while Midland is ranked #25. The game starts at 5:45pm at the Midland College Chaparral Center. They will be back home on Monday the 14th when the take on Western Texas College at 5:45pm.