March 23, 2016
By Chris Masters
NOTRE DAME, Ind. — University of Notre Dame women’s basketball incoming freshman Erin Boley (Hodgenville, Ky./Elizabethtown) has been selected as the 2016 Gatorade National High School Player of the Year, it was announced Wednesday during a ceremony at Elizabethtown High School in Elizabethtown, Kentucky.
Wednesday’s announcement comes less than two weeks after Boley’s future teammate and fellow Fighting Irish incoming Class of 2016 member Jackie Young (Princeton, Ind./Princeton Community) earned the Naismith National High School Player of the Year. Notre Dame is the first women’s basketball program in the 30-year history of the Gatorade and Naismith awards to have two different incoming freshmen earn national player-of-the-year accolades in the same season.
A first-team Naismith and Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) All-America selection as well as the 2016 Kentucky Miss Basketball, Boley is the fourth Fighting Irish signee to earn the top Gatorade honor and the third in the past eight years. She joins Skylar Diggins (2009) and current Notre Dame sophomore forward Brianna Turner (Pearland, Texas/Manvel) (2014) as recent recipients of the award.
Boley also will be invited to attend the ESPY Awards on July 13 in Los Angeles, where Gatorade will present its National High School Athlete of the Year award. Both Diggins and Turner parlayed their basketball honors into the overall Gatorade national award and were recognized at the ESPYs during the summer prior to their rookie seasons at Notre Dame.
Notre Dame incoming freshman forward Erin Boley was named the Gatorade National High School Player of the Year on Wednesday, making the Fighting Irish the first women’s basketball program ever to have two different signees chosen as national player of the year (Jackie Young claimed the Naismith Award on March 10).
Together, the Fighting Irish incoming freshman class of Boley and Young has been rated as high as No. 3 in the nation (Prospects Nation), as well as No. 5 by espnW Hoopgurlz and No. 6 by All-Star Girls Report (which factors in college transfers as part of its incoming class rankings). It’s the fifth consecutive top-five class for Notre Dame, which also has signed a Top 25 recruiting class for the 20th consecutive year, a streak only two other schools in the country (Connecticut and Tennessee) can match.
In addition, both Boley and Young have been selected to participate in the McDonald’s High School All-America Game later this month. The pair will be the 15th and 16th future Notre Dame women’s basketball players to compete in the McDonald’s game since its inception in 2002, with eight of those players slated to be part of the Fighting Irish roster in 2016-17. This also will mark the fifth consecutive year Notre Dame has multiple players competing in the same McDonald’s game.
Boley will suit up for the East squad while Young will play for the West Team in this year’s McDonald’s High School All-America Game, which will be played at 6:30 p.m. (ET) March 30 and will be televised live nationally by ESPNU from the United Center in Chicago.
Boley, a 6-foot-2 forward, recently completed her final season at Elizabethtown High School, having led the Panthers to a 133-27 (.831) record during the past five years since she began playing varsity basketball as an eighth-grade student-athlete.
Boley paced Elizabethtown to a 30-5 record this season while averaging 24.2 points per game (good for third in the state), as well as 10.3 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 2.7 steals per game with 23 double-doubles. She also was an outstanding shooter, registering a .596 field-goal percentage (314-of-527), including a .469 three-point ratio (61-of-130) and an .859 free-throw percentage (158-of-184).
Furthermore, she logged 29 20-point games, seven 30-point games and a career-high (and school-record) 40 points on Dec. 29 against Americus-Sumter (Ga.) at a holiday tournament in Florida.
During her five-year prep career, Boley averaged 20.8 points per game (3,325 total points — seventh in state history) and 8.9 rebounds per game (1,431 total rebounds).
Boley is a two-time MaxPreps All-American (fourth team last year, honorable mention in 2014, with this year’s honors pending), in addition to garnering honorable mention All-America status from the Naismith Awards last season. She also is a two-time Associated Press Kentucky High School Player of the Year (with this season’s award still to be announced), along with three Gatorade state player-of-the-year honors (2014-16).
Boley is a four-time all-state choice, as well as a four-time all-area, all-county and all-conference selection (2013-16). She is ranked in the top 10 by nearly all major national recruiting services, including No. 5 rankings by both espnW Hoopgurlz and All-Star Girls Report, as well as a No. 6 placement from Prospects Nation.
Along with her on-court exploits, Boley maintains a 4.0 cumulative grade-point average and is ranked No. 1 in her high school class. She also is vice president of the Elizabethtown High School senior class, a four-year class officer, and a member of her school’s Spanish Club, Beta Club, Pep Club, Art Club and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
For more information on the Notre Dame women’s basketball program, visit the main women’s basketball page on the University’s official athletics web site (UND.com/ndwbb), sign up to follow the Fighting Irish women’s basketball Twitter and Instagram pages (@ndwbb), like the program on Facebook or register for the Irish ALERT text-messaging system through the “Fan Center” pulldown menu on the front page at UND.com.
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Chris Masters, associate athletics communications director at the University of Notre Dame, has been part of the Fighting Irish athletics communications team since 2001 and coordinates all media efforts for the Notre Dame women’s basketball and women’s golf programs. A native of San Francisco, California, Masters is a 1996 graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University, earned his master’s degree from Kansas State University in 1998, and currently serves on the Board of Directors for the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).