Notre Dame is riding the momentum of its 2017 national championship and hoping to parlay it into future titles.
The Fighting Irish picked up a major win on the recruiting trail Sunday by landing 5-star forward Samantha Brunelle. Brunelle ranks as the top overall prospect in the Class of 2019, according to espnW.
Proud to announce I have committed to Coach McGraw and University of Notre Dame🍀🏀 Go Irish!!🏆 pic.twitter.com/kIf8ypHGaw
— Samantha Brunelle (@babybruney33) April 15, 2018
“This decision is not about basketball, it’s about the next 40 years,” Brunelle told Irish Sports Daily.
The 6-foot-2 forward is the second Class of 2019 commit for Notre Dame, joining 5-star point guard Anaya Peoples. Peoples is the 15th overall player and the third-best point guard.
Notre Dame coach Muffett McGraw has landed numerous top-5 prospects during her tenure, but Brunelle is the first to be ranked No. 1 by ESPN. Fighting Irish legend Skylar Diggins and returning players Brianna Turner, Jessica Shepard and Jackie Young.
The Team USA member chose Notre Dame over offers from premier programs like Connecticut, South Carolina, Duke and more.
This season, she averaged 30 points and 15.6 rebounds per game for William Monroe High School (Va.). Those numbers propeled her to becoming the first Gatorade and Virginia High School League player of the year in program history.
Brunelle will be the standout of what will likely be one of the best classes in the country. That class will be tasked with leading the program after some key departures following the 2018-19 season. Notre Dame will lose guards Arike Ogunbowale and Marina Mabrey and forwards Turner and Shepard after the 2018-19 season