Nov. 14, 2012
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Notre Dame head women’s basketball coach Muffet McGraw announced Wednesday that four of the country’s top high school student-athletes have chosen to continue their academic and athletic careers with the Fighting Irish, each signing a National Letter of Intent to attend Notre Dame beginning in the fall of 2013. Lindsay Allen, a 5-7 guard from Mitchellville, Md. (Saint John’s College High School), Kristina Nelson, a 6-3 forward from Buford, Ga. (Buford High School), Taya Reimer (pronounced TAY-uh RYE-mer), a 6-3 forward from Fishers, Ind. (Hamilton Southeastern High School) and Diamond Thompson, a 6-4 center from Wheaton, Ill. (Wheaton Warrenville South High School) all made their official commitments to the Fighting Irish during the early signing period that began Wednesday and continues through Nov. 21.
All four student-athletes are rated among the top 75 players in the country, including two in the top 20, by various national recruiting services. This marks the second consecutive year the Fighting Irish have had their incoming class ranked as high as No. 3 in the nation, and it’s a second consecutive consensus top-10 class by all major recruiting outlets (final class rankings will come out following the early signing period), all but assuring Notre Dame will have a Top 25 class for the 17th consecutive year, a streak only two other schools in the country (Connecticut and Tennessee) can match.
“I am really excited about this class,” McGraw said. “We got everyone we needed in this group, and to have back-to-back top-five classes, I think it says a lot about (assistant coach) Niele Ivey and (associate head coach) Carol Owens, our chief recruiters.”
Ranked No. 7 in this week’s Associated Press poll and No. 6 in the latest ESPN/USA Today coaches’ poll, Notre Dame (1-0) will tip off the home portion of its 2012-13 schedule at 2 p.m. (ET) Sunday when it plays host to Massachusetts inside Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center. At that game, the Fighting Irish will hold several special events to honor military veterans, as well as hold a pregame ceremony to honor junior Natalie Achonwa (Guelph, Ontario/St. Mary’s Catholic) for her play with the 2012 Canadian Olympic Team, which reached the Olympic quarterfinals for the first time since 1984.
Individual tickets for 2012-13 Notre Dame women’s basketball home games are on sale through the Murnane Family Ticket Office by calling (574) 631-7356 or visiting the ticket windows inside Gate 9 (the Rosenthal Atrium) at Purcell Pavilion, or by going on-line to the official Fighting Irish athletics ticketing web page (UND.com/tickets). Ticket availability may be limited for some games, so fans are advised to make their purchases in advance when possible.
For more information on the Notre Dame women’s basketball program, sign up to follow the Fighting Irish women’s basketball Twitter pages (@ndwbbsid or @ndwbb), like the program on Facebook (facebook.com/ndwbb) or register for the Irish ALERT text-messaging system through the “Fan Center” pulldown menu on the front page at UND.com.
A capsule look at the four newest additions to the Fighting Irish women’s basketball program follows:
LINDSAY ALLEN, 5-7, Guard (Mitchellville, Md./Saint John’s College High School)
Statistics/Records: Entering her fourth year at Saint John’s College High School (combined record of 83-15, .847) in Washington, D.C., where she is coached by Jonathan Scribner … career per-game statistical averages of 11.5 points, 3.7 rebounds and 5.0 assists … as a junior in 2011-12, helped SJC to a 26-7 record and runner-up finish in Washington Catholic Athletic Conference (WCAC), while averaging 13.5 ppg., 4.2 rpg. and 6.0 apg. … as a sophomore in 2010-11, paced team to 33-2 record as well as conference and city titles, averaging 14.0 ppg., 5.0 rpg. and 5.0 apg. along the way … as a freshman in 2009-10, played in a reserve role, averaging 7.0 ppg. and 4.0 apg. while her team posted a 24-6 record … posted career highs of 32 points (vs. Good Counsel in 2011), nine rebounds (twice), eight steals (vs. South Lakes in 2010) and 11 assists (vs. Forest Park in 2011) … also has extensive AAU pedigree, currently playing for Philly Belles and head coach Matt Dugan … previously played with AAU programs Team Unique (2010-11), Fairfax Stars (2008-09) and Team Excel (2004-07).
USA Basketball: Member of 2012 USA Basketball Under-17 National Team (along with fellow Notre Dame signee Taya Reimer) that went 8-0 and captured the gold medal at the FIBA U17 World Championships in Amsterdam, Netherlands … started alongside Reimer in all eight games for Team USA, averaging 4.4 points, 4.1 assists and 3.3 rebounds per game while shooting .560 from the field and .500 from the three-point line; finished as tournament leader in both assists and assist/turnover ratio (2.36) … also participated in 2011 USA Basketball U16 National Team Trials.
Awards/Honors: Two-time Washington Post All-Metro First Team selection (2011, 2012) … three-time all-conference choice (first team in 2011, 2012; honorable mention in 2010) … 2012 Boo Williams Invitational All-Tournament Team.
Personal Data: Daughter of Lorna Wilson-Allen and Terrell Allen III … youngest of three children … will become fifth player from state of Maryland to suit up for Notre Dame, and the second in recent years following Baltimore native Brittany Mallory (2007-12), who served as captain of the 2011 and 2012 NCAA national finalist teams … both her aunt, Denise Wilson-Browning, and uncle, Anthony Browning, are retired from the U.S. Army.
Coach McGraw on Allen…
“Lindsay can do so many things. Defensively, she’s going to be great up on the ball, and that’s something we really need to have, a great defender up at the point. She can run the team, she can score, she’s a terrific passer and she’s going to be able to find people. We have a lot of great players on the team, and a lot of people who can score, and she can get them the ball.”
KRISTINA NELSON, 6-4, Forward (Buford, Ga./Buford High School)
Statistics/Records: Beginning her second year at Buford High School in Buford, Ga., where she is coached by Gene Durden … spent her first two prep seasons at Greater Atlanta Christian School in Norcross, Ga. … combined career per-game statistical averages of 13.1 points and 6.4 rebounds … as a junior in 2011-12, was instrumental in Buford’s run to the Georgia Class 2A state championship game and regional title with a 22-8 record, averaging 10.6 ppg. and 6.0 rpg. … as a sophomore in 2010-11 at GACS, helped her team to a spot in the Class 2A title contest and a 17-7 record while averaging 15.5 ppg. and 6.8 rpg. … also helped GACS to 20-5 record, Class 2A state semifinals and a regional championship as a freshman in 2009-10, when she logged her career scoring high (28 points) … has experienced great deal of success on the AAU circuit with Georgia ICE and head coach Antonio Davis (a 16-year NBA veteran who was originally drafted by the Indiana Pacers in 1990 and also spent time with the Toronto Raptors, Chicago Bulls and New York Knicks) … helped Georgia ICE to the summer 2009 age-group state and national titles.
Awards/Honors: 2012 Associated Press honorable mention all-state selection … three-time all-region/metro choice (2010, 2011, 2012).
Personal Data: Daughter of Nanette and Herb Nelson … oldest of three children … will be the third player from state of Georgia to play for Notre Dame, and the second in recent years following Atlanta guard Fraderica Miller (2008-12), who helped the Fighting Irish reach the 2011 and 2012 NCAA national championship games … has been member of school’s Student-Athlete Leadership Team (SALT).
Coach McGraw on Nelson…
“Kristina can be a great presence for us in the lane. She has got good size, but she’s got great hands. She’s got a nice soft touch, she can finish around the basket, she can step back and shoot the jumper, and she’s a solid free throw shooter. We’re counting on her to do a lot of damage.”
TAYA REIMER, 6-3, Forward (Fishers, Ind./Hamilton Southeastern High School)
Statistics/Records: Entering her fourth year at Hamilton Southeastern High School in Fishers, Ind., where she is coached by Chris Huppenthal … career per-game statistical averages of 14.2 points, 8.3 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.9 blocks and 1.4 steals … as a junior in 2011-12, led her team to a 20-1 record and No. 1 ranking in Class 4A for much of season before losing to eventual state champion North Central in sectionals; averaged 19.4 ppg., 9.6 rpg., 2.4 apg., 2.3 bpg. and 1.5 spg. … as a sophomore in 2010-11, paced Hamilton Southeastern to a 15-6 record and sectional semifinals while averaging 14.2 ppg., 8.2 rpg., 2.3 apg., 2.1 bpg. and 1.4 spg. … as a freshman in 2009-10, helped school to sectional semifinals and 12-10 record while collecting 9.1 ppg., 7.2 rpg., 1.4 apg. and 1.3 spg. … has registered career highs of 28 points, 18 rebounds, 10 blocks, seven steals and six assists, all during the 2011-12 season … posted triple-double (18 points, 10 rebounds, 10 blocks) against Warsaw on Dec. 27, 2011 … most recently played AAU ball with Midwest Elite and head coach Ralph Gesualdo, helping team to consecutive USJN/Nike National Championships in 2010 and 2011 (only AAU club to win the title twice) … previously played for Indiana Elite Central U15 and U17, Indiana’s Finest U9 and U11 (AAU Division I Nationals runner-up), and Dayton Lady Hoopstars U10 teams.
USA Basketball: Three-time USA Basketball medalist (two golds, one honorary bronze) … captain of 2012 USA Basketball Under-17 National Team (teammate of fellow Notre Dame signee Lindsay Allen) that went 8-0 and captured the gold medal at the FIBA U17 World Championships in Amsterdam, Netherlands … started alongside Allen in all eight games for Team USA, averaging 9.8 points, 5.4 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game while shooting .483 from the field; finished eighth among all tournament players in blocks, ninth in field goal percentage and 18th in scoring … member of 2011 USA Basketball U16 National Team that posted 5-0 record on the way to gold medal at FIBA Americas U16 Championship in Merida, Mexico … started all five games for United States, averaging 4.8 ppg., 5.0 rpg. and 0.8 bpg. for squad that won by average of 43.2 points per game … also played for 2011 USA Basketball 3×3 Youth Team at inaugural FIBA 3×3 Youth World Cup in Rimini, Italy … team went 7-2 and received honorary bronze medal after being forced to forfeit third-place game when Reimer and another teammate were sidelined by injuries (USA finished two-point semifinal loss to Italy with only two players) … played in three games before being injured, averaging 5.0 points in those outings.
Awards/Honors: 2012-13 USA Today Preseason All-USA Team selection … 2012 MaxPreps honorable mention All-American pick … three-time all-state selection (first team in 2011, 2012; honorable mention in 2010) … 2012 Indiana Junior All-Star Team pick — led Indiana to a sweep of its Kentucky Junior All-Star counterparts in two-game series in June 2012 (averaging 26.0 ppg. in two wins), plus sweep of Indiana Senior All-Star Team (averaging 22.0 ppg. in two wins) … 2012 Indianapolis Star Super Team member … 2011 Indianapolis Star All-North First Team choice … three-time all-county selection (2010, 2011, 2012) … three-time all-conference pick (first team in 2011, 2012; honorable mention in 2010).
Personal Data: Full name is pronounced TAY-uh RYE-mer … daughter of Brenda Reimer and Ben Davis … older of two children … father was selected in second round of 1996 NBA Draft by Phoenix Suns and spent five seasons in the NBA (also played with New York Knicks), as well as 10 years playing professionally overseas … will be the 20th player from state of Indiana to join the Notre Dame roster, far and away the most representatives from one state in the program’s 36-year history … will also continue a string that has seen at least one Indiana native on the Fighting Irish roster each season since 1981-82, when Indianapolis resident Mary Beth Schueth arrived on campus … will be the eighth product from the Indianapolis metro area to suit up for Notre Dame, and the first since three-time all-BIG EAST guard and Indianapolis Pike High School graduate Ashley Barlow (2006-10) …member of National Honor Society … swam from ages 7-11, and was member of 2006 Indiana 200-meter relay at Central Zone meet that recorded fastest 10-and-under time in the nation that year … also played soccer in grade school, and volleyball in middle school.
Coach McGraw on Reimer…
“Taya is an outstanding player. She can do so many different things, and we’re really looking forward to having her. First off, for her rebounding, that’s a big problem for us right now. We need somebody who can rebound, and she fills that perfectly, but she can score. She does a lot of great things around the basket, she’s strong, she can face up, she can drive the ball, she can shoot the jumper. I’m really excited about the possibilities with Taya.”
DIAMOND THOMPSON, 6-4, Center (Wheaton, Ill./Wheaton Warrenville South High School)
Statistics/Records: Beginning her first year at Wheaton Warrenville South High School in Wheaton, Ill., where she is coached by Rob Kroehnke … spent first three prep seasons at Montini Catholic High School in Lombard, Ill., where she was a teammate of current Notre Dame sophomore guard Whitney Holloway in 2009-10 and 2010-11 … helped Broncs to 102-8 (.927) record and three consecutive Illinois Class 3A state titles from 2010-12 (first three in school history), becoming sixth Illinois girls’ basketball team in history (across all classes) to win three state championships, and only the second to do so consecutively (Teutopolis won three Class A crowns from 1988-90), since tournament began in 1977 … in past two years, has averaged 5.7 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.5 blocks per game in limited action … most recently played AAU ball with Illinois Lady Lightning and head coach Michael Seberger.
Personal Data: Will be the 15th player from state of Illinois to matriculate to Notre Dame, and the 14th to come from the Chicagoland area, including three current members of the Fighting Irish roster who came east from the Windy City (senior guard/co-captain Kaila Turner, sophomore guard Whitney Holloway and freshman guard Jewell Loyd).
Coach McGraw on Thompson…
“With Diamond coming in, we’re hoping for another shot blocker like (two-time All-American/2012 WNBA first-round draft pick) Devereaux Peters. Diamond has 6-4 size, but she can also run the floor. She’s going to be a great help for our inside game and I know (associate head coach) Carol Owens is going to do great things with her.”
— ND —