Ariel McDonald

Ariel Rene McDonald ( born January 13, 1972 in Harvey, Illinois ) is a former American- Slovenian basketball player. On his stations in Europe, he won eight national championships and two European Cups. In 1997, the American-born also got the Slovenian citizenship and took for his adopted country in part, among others, at the European Championship finals in 2001.

  • 3.1 International
  • 3.2 National


McDonald first played in college at the Minnesota Golden Gophers, with whom he won the National Invitation Tournament in 1993. The following year he went to Europe and there wrote his first professional contract with Castors Braine from Belgium. In the following season he played at a small club called Interier Slovenian Krško, where he was eventually discovered by the Slovenian Series champion Olimpija Ljubljana and put under contract in 1996.

Careers in Europe

In Olimpija McDonalds celebrated between 1996 and 1999 his first major success. Together with his team he won three times in a row, Double, consisting of Slovenian Championship and Slovenian Cup. In addition, his team was third in the 1997 National Champions Cup. For the season 1999/2000 McDonald moved to Israel Maccabi Tel Aviv, where he could win three times in a row the Double again. In the 2000 /01 season he celebrated with Maccabi even triple. In addition to the national titles, league and cup, he also won the FIBA Suproleague. With his 21 points and 9 assists McDonald was the match-winner in the final against Panathinaikos Athens and was elected MVP of the " Final Four " tournament. A year earlier he had failed with Maccabi in the national champion Cup final on the same opponents. In the finals of the European Basketball Championships 2001 McDonald lost with the Slovenian national team for the opener against the former vice-European champion Spain, but then won the group match against hosts Turkey. Instead of the expected intake in the second round but there was then a disappointing defeat after extra time against Latvia. After leaving McDonald was still active for individual qualifiers for the next European Championship, but was otherwise without using more for Slovenia.

After very successful years in Tel Aviv Ariel McDonald was hired in 2002 by Panathinaikos Athens, another top club in European basketball. In Greece McDonald twice won the National League and the Cup once. After two seasons, he moved to MBK Dynamo Moscow, where he did not play successfully and the club after a season toward left Spain. Akasvayu Girona called his new club with which McDonald won the 2007 FIBA Eurocup. In addition, he was selected in this competition for the MVP of the Final Four. The following year they reached the " Final Eight " - finals in the ULEB Cup in 2007 /08 and defeated in the semifinals, the highly touted team from McDonald's former club Dynamo Moscow, which was coached by Svetislav Pešić, who led last year Girona to FIBA EuroCup triumph had. At 81:78 victory McDonald scored the crucial free throws in the Schlussekunden. In the final, they defeated then clearly the national competitors Joventut de Badalona. Then McDonald was brought again from Dynamo Moscow, where he was coached by David Leaf, with whom he had already worked at Maccabi Tel Aviv. The " veteran " McDonald received in Dynamos star cast around his Slovenian team-mate Bostjan neighbor who had come for a lucrative contract from the NBA to Dynamo, barely playing time and the contract was terminated prematurely. At the end of his career, McDonald was late December 2008, again brought by Montepaschi Siena from the early retirement, where he even no longer came up to his performances in previous years, but in the end his career once again won the Double in Italy, while in the quarter-final play-offs of the most important European club competition ULEB euro Cup 2008/ 09 against McDonalds former club Panathinaikos lost, which subsequently won the competition.

Name dispute

During his time with Maccabi Tel Aviv an American "fast food" made ​​television advertising provider in Israel with McDonald under the slogan "Listen to McDonald - only Burger King ". The rival companies McDonald's then published the summary of an earlier interview in which Ariel McDonald admitted by his surname to eat in the restaurants of the company. Both parties finally strained lawsuits against each other, in a revision of the Supreme Court of Israel eventually decided on a deliberate violation of the trademark of McDonald's by Ariel McDonald.



  • Winner of the FIBA Suproleague with Maccabi Tel Aviv ( 2001)
  • Vice- winning European Cup champion with Maccabi Tel Aviv ( 2000)
  • Winners FIBA Eurocup with CB Girona ( 2007)
  • Vice ULEB Cup with CB Girona ( 2008)


  • 2x Greek champions Panathinaikos Athens ( 2003, 2004)
  • Greek Cup winner (2003)
  • 3x Israeli champions Maccabi Tel Aviv ( 2000, 2001, 2002)
  • 3x Israeli Cup winner (2000, 2001, 2002 )
  • 3x Champion of Slovenia with Olimpija Ljubljana ( 1997, 1998, 1999)
  • 3x Slovenian Cup winner (1997, 1998, 1999 )
  • Italian Champion 2009
  • Italian Cup Winners 2009


  • FIBA Suproleague Final Four MVP (2001)
  • ULEB Euro League 2nd All-Star Team (2002)