June 1, 2017
By Leigh Torbin
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – A steady run of WNBA-caliber point guards at Notre Dame has gained another name to the roll as two-time all-Pac-12 selection Lili Thompson (Mansfield, Texas) will join the Irish for the 2017-18 season as a graduate transfer from Stanford. Thompson will immediately add a veteran’s presence of leadership and elite experience to the Irish squad having served as a team captain for Stanford. She also played in the 2014 Final Four along with helping Stanford to a 2014 Pac-12 regular season crown and 2015 Pac-12 Tournament championship.
Thompson appeared in 104 games for Stanford from 2013-16, starting 96 of them before sitting out this past year. In three seasons of play, Thompson tallied 1,250 points to rank 28th in Cardinal history. Her junior year saw her record a career-best 14.7 points per game to rank 11th in the Pac-12. Serving as team captain in 2015-16, Thompson upped her game in the post-season, averaging 16.5 points per game in helping to lead Stanford to the Elite Eight.
In addition to being named all-Pac-12 twice, Thompson was a two-time honorable mention for the Pac-12’s all-academic team. She was on the preseason watch list for the 2016 Naismith and Wooden Awards, a 2016 honorable mention for the Pac-12’s all-defensive team, and a 2015 CoSIDA academic all-district selection.
Thompson was named espnW’s national player of the week twice at Stanford. The first came on Nov. 23, 2014, after she averaged 26.0 points in games against UConn and Texas, including 24 points in an upset of the top-ranked Huskies. She earned the national accolade again on Feb. 1, 2016, after averaging 28.5 points per game in wins over Washington and Washington State.
“She’s a scoring point guard,” said Muffet McGraw, Notre Dame’s Karen and Kevin Keyes Family Head Women’s Basketball Coach. “She has good leadership skills and is capable of running the team. She gives us experience at the highest level and a maturity beyond her years. We are excited to have another 3-point shooter in our offense and look forward to big things from Lili Thompson.”
In addition to Thompson, the Irish will add a pair of talented freshmen next season, including McDonald’s All-American Danielle Patterson (Brooklyn, N.Y.) and McDonald’s All-American nominee Mikayla Vaughn (Fairfax, Va.) whose Paul VI High School team spent much of this past season ranked No. 1 in the nation.
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.