Oct. 23, 2017
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Ruth Riley, Skylar Diggins-Smith, Niele Ivey, Beth (Morgan) Cunningham and now Kayla McBride – come Nov. 11, the banners at Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center will have a new addition when McBride is inducted into Notre Dame’s Ring of Honor.
A 2014 graduate, McBride played a pivotal role in one of the most successful four years in Notre Dame history. She helped lead the Irish to four consecutive Final Fours (2011-14), including three title game appearances. In addition, her senior class recorded the second-most wins (138) of any other class in history.
“I am so proud of Kayla for what she became while she was here, for allowing me to push her every single day and for allowing me to say that I’m never satisfied after a game when she had 20 points,” Karen & Kevin Keyes Notre Dame head coach Muffet McGraw said. “She was somebody who was motivated by criticism and wanted to be better. Couldn’t be prouder of anyone for this amazing accomplishment.”
A two-time All-American, including a consensus first team choice in 2014, McBride made the most of her four years at Notre Dame to develop into the pro player she is today. Her continued improvement was on full display her senior year when she reeled in the following major accolades: Wade Trophy Finalist, Wooden Award Finalist, WBCA Coaches’ All-Region II Team, ACC Player of the Year, All-ACC Tournament First Team, NCAA Regional All-Tournament selection and NCAA Final Four All-Tournament Team honoree.
When all was said and done, McBride ranked first all-time in career free-throw percentage (.882) and sixth in scoring with her 1,876 career points. The Erie, Pennsylvania, native went on to be drafted No. 3 overall by the San Antonio Stars (now Las Vegas), earning WNBA All-Rookie Team honors in 2014 and was named a WNBA All-Star in 2015.
McBride’s name also remains prominent on the international scene. After being a finalist for the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team, McBride was most recently named to the 2017 Team USA Training Camp roster.
“Kayla McBride was a competitor,” McGraw added. “We’ve had a lot of competitive women here but Kayla is certainly among the top. She was someone that got better every single year and did everything she needed to do to make herself better.”
The Ring of Honor was established in 2010 by the University of Notre Dame Athletics Department to honor former and present men’s and women’s basketball coaches and players who have made distinguished and noteworthy contributions during their careers at the University.
Josh Bates joined Fighting Irish Media as associate athletics communications director in July of 2017, serving as the women’s basketball and men’s golf contact. Bates earned both his bachelor’s (2011) and master’s (2014) degree in sports management from the University of Illinois. He also worked as a grad assistant at Illinois from 2012-14 and worked full-time at Tulane University from 2014-17.