July 11, 2017
By Leigh Torbin
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The Notre Dame women’s basketball program has enjoyed a long lineage of success among its current and former players on the international stage and four of the current Irish team members aim to add to that legacy as Marina Mabrey, Arike Ogunbowale, Jessica Shepard and Jackie Young were all named to the United States U23 National Team training camp roster on Tuesday.
The 40-member roll, which includes most of the country’s top collegiate players, will be pared down to a 12-member squad to represent the United States in the Four Nations Tournament August 12-15 in Tokyo, Japan.
With four representatives, Notre Dame ties Connecticut for the most of any school in the nation at the training camp, set for July 31-August 4 at the United States Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs.
The Irish have produced 21 selections for Team USA and Team Canada, resulting in 32 medals including 18 golds. The list is led by Olympic Games selections Ruth Riley (USA, 2004) and Natalie Achonwa (Canada, 2012 and 2016). Ogunbowale has a pair of international gold medals to her credit playing 3×3 for Team USA in 2015. Mabrey and Shepard each struck gold for America in the 2014 U18 FIBA Americas Championship, playing alongside current Irish forward Brianna Turner.
This quartet of training camp selections help showcase the strong talent that will be a part of the Notre Dame program this upcoming winter. Ogunbowale comes into 2017-18 off of a sophomore campaign that saw her earned MVP honors of the Lexington NCAA Regional and stand as one of the top 30 candidates for the Naismith Trophy. Mabrey ended her 2016-17 season on a hot streak, earning a spot on the all-tournament team for both the ACC Tournament and the NCAA Regional. Both Mabrey (916) and Ogunbowale (986) are on the cusp of 1,000 career points at this early juncture of their careers. Young claimed a spot on the ACC’s all-rookie team after a freshman year where she averaged 7.3 points per game off of the bench. Shepard will not make her Irish debut until the 2018-19 season but claimed All-Big Ten honors in each of her two years at Nebraska before transferring earlier this summer.
Leigh Torbin, athletics communications associate director at the University of Notre Dame, has been part of the Fighting Irish athletics communications team since 2013. A native of Framingham, Massachusetts, Torbin graduated from the University of Massachusetts in 1998 with a bachelor’s degree in sports management. He has previously worked full-time on the athletic communications staffs at Vanderbilt, Florida, Connecticut and UCF.