ND Women’s Basketball
Notre Dame lands nation’s top recruit in 2019 class
Observer Sports Staff | Sunday, April 15, 2018
Two weeks after winning college basketball’s biggest prize on the court, Notre Dame landed perhaps the sport’s greatest prize off the court, as the nation’s No. 1 prospect in the class of 2019, Samantha Brunelle, announced her verbal commitment to the Irish on Sunday.
On Jan. 10, Brunelle — ranked as the top prospect by espnW — announced Notre Dame as one of her top-nine schools, also including Connecticut, South Carolina, Duke, Wake Forest, Maryland, Kentucky, North Carolina State and Virginia on her list.
During her recently completed junior season at William Monroe High School in Standardsville, Virginia, Brunelle averaged 30 points, 15.6 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 3 blocks and 2.2 steals per game on her way to being named Gatorade Player of the Year in the state of Virginia. The 6-foot-2 forward also earned USA Today third-team All-American honors her sophomore season after averaging 25 points, 12.5 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 3.4 blocks and 2.2 steals per game.
Brunelle has also competed with USA Basketball, having been a part of the 2017 squad that won the gold medal at the FIBA Americas U16 championship as well as the 2016 squad that won the bronze medal at the 2016 FIBA U17 world championship. On April 4, she was also named to the 2018 U.S. Youth Olympic Games women’s basketball team.
With Brianna Turner, Arike Ogunbowale, Marina Mabrey and Jessica Shepard all set to enter their final season of eligibility in the 2018-2019 season, Brunelle represents likely the second of several recruits the Irish will look to add in the coming months. Last summer, the Irish also received a verbal commitment from 5-foot-10 point guard Anaya Peoples, who is the No. 15 overall ranked player and the No. 3 point guard in the class of 2019, according to espnW.