Lahti, McDonald to join UMD men's basketball

The Northland products are slated to join for the 2023-24 season.

Northwestern’s Cole Lahti (22) drives to the hoop
Northwestern’s Cole Lahti (22) drives to the hoop during the Tigers' game with St. Croix Falls in Maple in January.
Jed Carlson / Superior Telegram

DULUTH — Minnesota Duluth men's basketball announced the signing of a pair of Northland players to National Letters of Intent ahead of the 2023-24 season.

Cole Lahti (Northwestern) and Ayden McDonald (Hibbing) will join a four-man 2023 recruiting class.

Lahti, a 6-foot-5 wing from Oulu, Wisconsin, averaged 22.2 points and 8.1 rebounds per game in his senior season as the Tigers were 23-3. The Heart O'North Conference player of the year, Lahti set his school's single-season scoring record with 577 points in 2022-23.

Ayden McDonald (44) of Hibbing pushes past Nicholas Swanson (13) of Esko on Tuesday Dec. 21, 2021, at the Esko High School gymnasium.
Clint Austin / Duluth News Tribune

McDonald, a 6-foot-4 guard out of Hibbing High, averaged 28.7 points, 6.9 rebounds and 8.9 assists in his 2021-22 senior season. The two-time News Tribune All-Area Player of the Year committed to Augustana but transferred before suiting up for the Vikings.

"We talk a lot about having student-athletes that are proud and excited to be Bulldogs, and these two both fit that mold. Both are extremely talented players, exemplify the values and high character of our program, come from fantastic families and fit the culture of hard work in our locker room. We take pride in recruiting some of the best local talent here in the Northland," UMD coach Justin Wieck said in a release.


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