April 22, 2003
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – University of Notre Dame women’s basketball coach Muffet McGraw announced Tuesday that Breona Gray (first name pronounced BREE-on-uh), a 5-foot-9 guard from Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas, Nev., has chosen to continue her career with the Irish, signing a national letter of intent to attend Notre Dame beginning in the fall of 2003. Gray is the third member of the Class of 2007 to commit to the Irish, and the first to do so during the late signing period, which began April 16 and continues through May 15.
“We are excited to be able to add someone of Breona’s caliber to our team for next season,” McGraw said. “She posseses a great deal of quickness and intensity at both ends of the floor. We expect she will be a important contributor for us over the next four years and we look forward to seeing her in an Irish uniform this fall.”
“Breona is a very athletic player who gets to the basket well,” said Bret McCormick, recruiting analyst for All-Star Girls Report (ASGR). “She has an explosive first step and is a true slasher on offense. We think she is one of the top players in the nation among those who are coming out in the late signing period.”
Gray averaged 16.3 points and 6.0 rebounds per game during her four-year career at Bishop Gorman, including team highs of 17.0 ppg. and 6.8 rpg. during her senior season when she was named the Sunset League Most Valuable Player and led the Gaels to the Nevada Class 4A state championship game. Gray also was a four-time all-state selection, earning first-team honors in 2001 when she was the leading scorer in southern Nevada (21.7 ppg., 521 points). She graduates from BGHS as one of only three players in school history to score at least 1,600 points, and she helped the Gaels make three trips to the state semifinals during her prep career.
“Breona Gray is, without a doubt, one of the quickest and most athletic players I’ve ever coached,” Bishop Gorman head coach Sheryl Krmpotich said. “She is an excellent leaper, as shown by her scoring and rebounding numbers. She also does a great job of exploding to the basket and attacking the defense. Still, I think her best basketball is ahead of her, and I think she’ll do a great job in that conference.”
Besides her exploits on the hardwood, Gray is an accomplished track star, winning the Nevada state championship in the 400-meter run last year after placing in the same event in 2001. She will be the first Notre Dame women’s basketball player to come from the state of Nevada, making it the 35th different state to produce an Irish cager in the program’s history. In addition, Gray is the third Bishop Gorman student-athlete to sign with a Notre Dame team this year — twins Catrina and Christian Thompson inked national letters of intent last fall to play tennis for the Irish and veteran head coach Jay Louderback.
Gray joins forward Crystal Erwin (Santa Fe Springs, Calif./St. Paul H.S.) and guard Susie Powers (Littleton, Colo./Highlands Ranch H.S.) as members of Notre Dame’s incoming freshman class. That group has been ranked 19th in the nation by Blue Star Index, making the Irish one of only three schools in the nation to have a Top 20 recruiting class in each of the last seven years.
Notre Dame recently completed its 26th season of intercollegiate competition, posting a 21-11 record and reaching the NCAA Sweet Sixteen for the fifth time in the last seven years. The Irish, who were ranked 21st in the final ESPN/USA Today coaches’ poll, also logged their 10th consecutive 20-win season, making them one of just six teams in the country to have an active streak of that length. In addition, Notre Dame qualified for the NCAA Tournament for the 10th time in school history, and the eighth time in as many years. Along with their three incoming freshmen, the Irish will have four starters and nine monogram winners returning next season.
— ND —