Photos of Notre Dame alumnus Jackie Young in the WNBA Finals

The Irish should be proud to have helped develop this champion.

Former Notre Dame player [autotag]Jackie Young[/autotag] has joined a club previously occupied only by [autotag]Ruth Riley[/autotag]. By winning the WNBA championship with the Las Vegas Aces, Young is the second Irish player to win a a national championship, an Olympic gold medal and a WNBA title. She was on the Irish’s national title team in 2018, and she was on the gold-medal team for the inaugural 3-on-3 women’s basketball competition at the Tokyo Olympics.

During the Aces’ finals victory over the Connecticut Sun, Young averaged 12.8 points, 4.0 rebounds and 3.3 assists a game while shooting 38.3% from the field. Those numbers as well as matching Riley’s distinction caught the attention of Irish coach [autotag]Niele Ivey[/autotag]:

Appreciate this moment, Irish fans, because it might be a while before we see this again. This program has built some winners, but it rarely churns out winners quite like this. Until the next one comes, enjoy these photos of Young in the 2022 WNBA Finals:

Notre Dame to play California in Shamrock Classic in St. Louis

Football not your thing? Get to St. Louis for a women’s hoops game one day instead.

Football no longer is the only sport in which Notre Dame and California will play each other this year. As the guys on the gridiron get set for battle at Notre Dame Stadium, the schools’ respective women’s basketball program are looking forward to their own meeting. The teams will play each other Nov. 12 in the first Shamrock Classic at St. Louis’ Enterprise Center, where Irish coach [autotag]Niele Ivey[/autotag] won the national title along with her other Irish teammates in 2001:

Ivey is not the only St. Louis native coaching this game. It’s also the city where Bears coach Charmin Smith is from, so you better believe both coaches are looking forward to this a lot.

Also of note is that this will be the first women’s basketball game to be shown on NBC and Peacock. Don’t worry about it interfering with football though. That program is facing Navy in Baltimore that day, so it won’t even be on the same network.

Here’s hoping this event is a big success (and an Irish win).

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Charel Allen returns to Notre Dame as assistant coach

It’s a homecoming for one of the Irish’s own.

In the mid-2000s, [autotag]Charel Allen[/autotag] was one of Notre Dame’s biggest stars. She was an All-American twice, an All-Big East First Team selection twice and was team captain as both a junior and a senior. She finished her collegiate career with 1,566 points, ranking her 15th in Irish history. Now, she’s coming back to South Bend as an assistant coach under [autotag]Niele Ivey[/autotag] after five seasons on the staff at Cal State Fullerton.

After Notre Dame, she was drafted by the WNBA’s now-defunct Sacramento Monarchs, for whom she played six games in 2008. She then thrived over eight seasons in Bulgaria, winning five championships, being selected to the all-league first team four times and earning one player of the year honor.

Ivey has this to say about the hire:

“Excited to welcome Charel back to the Notre Dame family. Charel brings a high-level mentality that leads to great player development. She possesses experience at every level – collegiately, professionally and internationally. She’s a rising star in this industry. She’s extremely passionate and loyal and understands what it takes to excel as a student-athlete at Notre Dame.”

Best of luck to Allen in her return.

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Notre Dame, UConn will renew rivalry for Jimmy V Classic

Get your tickets for this one, or at least stay home for it.

One of the biggest rivalries in women’s basketball is returning for 2022-23. Notre Dame has been one of the few programs to challenge UConn’s supremacy in the sport, so you know any game involving these teams will be good. [autotag]Muffet McGraw[/autotag] might be gone from the rivalry, but the feelings between these programs surely remain. That’s why their Dec. 4 clash at Purcell Pavilion as part of the Jimmy V Classic should be filled with great anticipation.

These programs met last season with the Huskies taking a 73-54 victory in Storrs. Of course, that game couldn’t compare to the numerous Final Four games that have paired them over the past decade-plus. For Irish fans, none of those contests stand more than the first of back-to-back late [autotag]Arike Ogunbowale[/autotag] heroics during the 2018 semifinals. Not only did it set her up for her championship-winning buzzer beater against Mississippi State two nights later, but it ruined the Huskies’ perfect season.

If you watch only one women’s basketball game this season, make this one it.

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Notre Dame heading to Bahamas for Thanksgiving weekend tournament

How would you like to spend Thanksgiving with the women’s basketball team?

We don’t know what will happen to Notre Dame this season. What we do know is the team will enjoy Thanksgiving dinner in a tropical paradise. That’s because the Irish are one of six programs to be invited to the 20th edition of the Goombay Splash in Bimini, Bahamas. The tournament begins Nov. 24, this year’s date for Thanksgiving, and ends Nov. 26 with each team getting either two or three games along the way.

The Irish’s first game will be played Thanksgiving against American, a first-time opponent. Arizona State awaits both teams regardless of the result because it plays the loser of the Thanksgiving game the next day and the winner the day after. George Mason and LSU face each other in the Thanksgiving game to determine who will play on which day.

If you have to be away from your family during a major holiday, it’s hard to pick against the Bahamas as a location. Don’t believe me? Let’s go back a few years and watch Central Michigan’s reaction to going to the inaugural Bahamas Bowl, which was held on Christmas Eve:

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Notre Dame to play Maryland in ACC/Big Ten Challenge

Looking forward to this matchup?

Notre Dame will welcome Maryland to Purcell Pavilion this upcoming season for the annual ACC/Big Ten Challenge. It should be one of the better matchups in this year’s iteration as both programs are coming off Sweet 16 appearances. The Irish have the slimmest of leads in the all-time series, 5-4. The teams last met during a 92-victory in the 2014 edition of this event.

The Irish have a 7-1 all-time record in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. A win in this game, which will be played Dec. 1, would make the Terrapins the second program they’ve beaten twice in this event alongside Iowa. The other Big Ten opponents to fall to the Irish are Michigan, Ohio State and Penn State.

While this game is worth looking forward to, it will be far from the all-time series’ highest stakes. Twice, the Irish have downed the Terrapins in the NCAA Tournament. The first time happened in the 2012 regional finals, and the second during the 2014 national semifinals.

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Four former Notre Dame players named WNBA All-Stars

Which All-Star is your favorite?

[autotag]Muffet McGraw[/autotag] isn’t long removed from coach, so her legacy in form of WNBA players will continue for some time. Eventually, we hope to see the same effects from [autotag]Niele Ivey[/autotag]’s coaching. For now, Notre Dame fans should be pleased that four former Irish players have been named to the 2022 WNBA All-Star Game. No other university has more representation in this year’s event.

The number of Irish alumni in this year’s game became official with the announcement of the 12 reserves, On Saturday, they, along with the 10 selected starters, will be split up into teams captained by A’ja Wilson of the Las Vegas Aces and Breanna Stewart of the Seattle Storm. The teams then will face off in the game, which is being held in Chicago.

If you’re a Notre Dame women’s basketball enthusiast, you won’t be disappointed with this game. Here are the players for you to watch and reminisce about:

Power ranking the 15 ACC mascots

Who has the best mascot? And worst?

Happy June 17th!

Has anything sports wise ever happened on this day?  ESPN has a documentary about that already but to my knowledge they don’t have one about mascots.  And June 17, if you weren’t already aware (which I wasn’t until seeing on Twitter today), is National Mascot Day.

I thought what better way to celebrate National Mascot Day than by doing something very important that will certainly change the way we all see the world.

I’ve decided to rank all 15 mascots in the ACC from top to bottom based on a very scientific it-factor eye test.

What makes a good mascot?  I couldn’t tell you but I can certainly tell you when I see a good one or see a less impressive one.  With that very scientific formula in mind, here are your very official ACC mascot power rankings.

Notre Dame women make two additions via transfer portal

The Irish have some needed post help now.

Notre Dame has benefited from the transfer portal with the addition of two veteran post players. One is 6-foot-4 forward Kylee Watson, who comes to South Bend after two years at Oregon. The other is Lauren Ebo, who gives the Irish their only true center at the moment. After two years at Penn State, she heavily contributed to Texas making back-to-back Elite Eights.

[autotag]Niele Ivey[/autotag] had this to say about Watson:

“Kylee is one of the most dynamic and versatile posts in her class. She can score at all three levels and is extremely explosive in transition, either running the floor or igniting the break. What I love about her most is her motor and toughness.”

Ivey also commented about Ebo:

“She brings a wealth of experience with deep runs in the NCAA Tournament the past two years. She is a true leader on and off the court. She’s a force inside and is a perfect fit for our team and our culture.”

The Irish also have added Stanford’s Jenna Brown from the portal. Here’s hoping both players can help Ivey make her first run to the Final Four as head coach.

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Former Notre Dame players on 2022 WNBA rosters

Which player(s) will you cheer for this season?

The 2022 WNBA season has tipped off, and there is plenty of Notre Dame representation. Not that this should come as any surprise given that they all played under Muffet McGraw. Hopefully one day, Niele Ivey will have just as many of her own former players competing at the pinnacle of professional women’s basketball. For now, McGraw’s legacy is far more apparent.

With nine former Irish players in the WNBA and a few of them even teammates, there’s a very good chance you’ll find one of them on a given night if you decide to flip on a random game this season. Maybe you happen to be a fan of a particular team that has Irish blood on it. In that case, congratulations for hitting the jackpot!

Don’t be so quick to write these athletes off just because it’s women’s basketball. It’s just as thrilling to watch them as it is male athletes, and you’re only hurting yourself if you refuse to watch solely based on gender. Now, with that out of the way, here are the former Irish players to look for: