#11 Natalie Achonwa
Achonwa will be making her second straight appearance at the Olympics with Team Canada. In 2009, she made history as the youngest player selected to the Canadian Senior National Team when she was just 16 years old. She recently helped Canada to gold medals at the 2015 Pan American Games and at the 2015 FIBA Americas Championship.
Achonwa, a former Fighting Irish team captain as a senior, earned Associated Press All-America third team and All-ACC second team honors with the Irish. At the time of her graduation, she ranked 12th on Notre Dame’s career scoring list (1,546 points), third in games played (145) and fourth in rebounds (970).
Achonwa currently plays for the WNBA’s Indiana Fever, who selected her in the first round (ninth overall) of the 2014 WNBA draft.
CAREER HONORS 2014: WNBA First-Round Draft Pick (No. 9 overall – Indiana) … Associated Press All-America Third Team … Full Court Press All-America Team (honorable mention) … All-ACC Second Team (Blue Ribbon Panel/Coaches) … NCAA Notre Dame Regional All-Tournament Team … All-ACC Tournament Second Team … ACC All-Academic Team … Team captain. 2013: Associated Press All-America Team (honorable mention) … WBCA Coaches’ All-America Team (honorable mention) … First-Team All-BIG EAST … NCAA Norfolk Regional All-Tournament Team … World Vision Classic All-Tournament Team. 2012: NCAA Raleigh Regional All-Tournament Team. 2011: BIG EAST All-Freshman Team … BIG EAST Freshman of the Week (Dec. 13).
IN THE NOTRE DAME RECORD BOOK: At the time of her graduation, ranked 12th on Notre Dame’s career scoring list with 1,546 points; also third in games played (145), fourth in rebounds (970), tied-fifth in double-doubles (28), and sixth in field goal percentage (.562).
SENIOR SEASON (2013-14): Team captain … started 33 games, averaging career-high 14.9 points to go along with 7.7 rebounds and career-best 2.8 assists per game and team-high eight double-doubles … ranked second in ACC/third nationally in field goal percentage (.611; also seventh on ND single-season charts), tie-fourth in ACC in defensive rebounds (5.6), seventh in rebounds, 10th in blocks (1.2) and 15th in scoring … missed first three games of season following preseason arthroscopic right knee surgery to repair torn meniscus … made first appearance of season at Penn, starting and playing 14 minutes, totaling four points, three rebounds, three assists, two steals and one block … looked sharp against No. 25 DePaul with team-high 17 points (8-14 FG), eight boards and three assists … produced first double-double of season with 11-point, 10-rebound effort against Duquesne in native Canada … turned in best effort of young season with game highs of 21 points and 10 rebounds at No. 10/11 Penn State … scored 16 points (12 in second half) and plucked team-high nine rebounds (seven offensive) at Oregon State … recorded third double-double of season with efficient 13 points (6-9 FG) and season-best 13 rebounds in just 21 minutes against South Dakota State … also dished out six assists, all in first half … tallied second double-double in a row with 15 points (7-9 FT) and season high-tying 13 rebounds against Clemson … also added career high-tying three blocks … handed out a game- and career-high eight assists (no turnovers) in 17 minutes against Boston College … turned in monster game at Virginia by scoring a career-high 26 points (9-14 FG, 8-10 FT) to go along with a season-high 16 rebounds to record her fifth double-double of the season … also tied her career high with three blocks … eight of her boards were offensive and added three assists … totaled 14 points (6-9 FG, 2-2 FT), seven rebounds, five assists and two blocks at Pittsburgh … logged third consecutive double-digit scoring effort at No. 11/10 Tennessee with 15 points (7-11 FG), plus seven rebounds, three assists, three steals (tied career high) and two blocks … led all players with game highs of 23 points (career-high 15 FTA) and nine rebounds vs. Miami, logging third 20-point game of season … added two steals and two blocks (including 100th career block), posting multiple blocks for seventh game in a row … missed double-double by one rebound for fifth time this year, finishing with 15 points (6-9 FG) and nine rebounds at No. 3 Duke … had one of most efficient games of career at Florida State with game-high 24 points on 10-of-12 shooting (10 field goals tied career high) … added five rebounds and four assists … piled up 14 points (6-10 FG), six rebounds, three assists and two steals in just 17 minutes against Syracuse … nabbed 13 points (5-9 FG), four rebounds and team-high four assists at Boston College … posted team-high sixth double-double of season with 21 points (7-11 FG, 7-13 FT) and team-best 10 rebounds (plus career high-tying three blocks) against Georgia Tech on Senior Night … contributed well-balanced line in rematch against No. 7 Duke, with 15 points (6-8 FG) and game highs of seven rebounds and six assists (her fourth five-assist game of season) … tallied 24 points (7-12 FG, 10-14 FT) and eight rebounds in regular-season home finale against No. 14/11 North Carolina … finished off regular season with nearly perfect shooting at No. 13/17 N.C. State, ending up with game-high 19 points (8-9 FG, 3-3 FT) and six rebounds … had 11 points (5-7 FG) in ACC quarterfinal win over Florida State … shared team-high honors with seven rebounds in ACC title game win over No. 10 Duke … collected 15 points (6-10 FG), six rebounds and three assists in NCAA opener against Robert Morris … sparkled in NCAA second-round win over Arizona State with game highs of 25 points (8-10 FG, 9-12 FT) and 11 rebounds for team-high seventh double-double of year (27th career) … packed stat sheet against No. 21/18 Oklahoma State in NCAA Sweet 16 with game-high 23 points (10-13 FG), seven rebounds, six assists, career-high five blocks and two steals … chalked up eighth double-double of season (second in NCAA tournament) with 19 points (6-9 FG) and game-high 15 rebounds in NCAA Elite Eight win over No. 5/6 Baylor … 15 rebounds are second-most ever by ND player in an NCAA tournament game and most since 1997 (Katryna Gaither vs. George Washington in East Regional final) … suffered torn ACL in left knee with 4:51 left in second half against Baylor and did not play in either NCAA Final Four game (averaged 20.5 ppg., 9.8 rpg. with .714 FG% in 2014 NCAA Championship). 2013 EUROPEAN TOUR: Played in two games (starting both), averaging 13.0 points, 7.5 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per game … had near double-double in first of two wins over French All-Star Team, collecting 13 points and nine rebounds in just 18 minutes … added balanced effort with 13 points (5-9 FG), six rebounds and four blocks in second victory over French side.
JUNIOR SEASON (2012-13): Started all 37 games, nearly averaging a double-double with 13.8 ppg. and 9.4 rpg. … set school record with 19 double-doubles (eight vs. ranked opponents, three in NCAA Tournament; had one career double-double prior to the season) … scored in double figures 31 times …led BIG EAST (ranked 15th nationally) in double-doubles (19) with one “5-5-5” game to her credit … ranked among top 15 in conference in rebounds (2nd), defensive rebounds (2nd – 6.2 drpg.), field goal percentage (8th), offensive rebounds (6th – 3.2 orpg.), free throw percentage (9th – .800) and scoring (16th) …opened year with 17 points (7-8 FT) and 10 rebounds in Carrier Classic win over No. 19/21 Ohio State (first season-opening double-double for Notre Dame player since 2009/Becca Bruszewski vs. Arkansas-Pine Bluff) …filled up stat sheet with eight points, eight rebounds, four assists and three steals in home opener vs. UMass …had 22 points (8-11 FG, 6-6 FT), 10 rebounds in only 18 minutes against Mercer; also tied career high with three blocks … scratched out double-double at No. 19/22 UCLA, dodging foul trouble to collect 10 points and 10 rebounds … posted third consecutive double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds (plus career high-tying three blocks) in career-best 35 minutes at Central Michigan; second Notre Dame player in as many seasons with three double-doubles in a row (Devereaux Peters) … had 11 points, seven rebounds and four assists vs. No. 3 Baylor … chalked up another double-double against Utah State, including career highs in points (23), field goals made (10) and field goals attempted (13), as well as a game-high 12 rebounds in only 21 minutes (her second “point-a-minute” game of the year) … tied career high with five assists in 19 minutes vs. Alabama A&M; also grabbed seven rebounds in the win … had 13 points, four rebounds and three assists in only 16 minutes against Kansas State … registered 22 points and (then) career-high 14 boards against No. 22 Texas A&M; also set career highs in minutes played (36), free throws made (12) and free throws attempted (14) … continued dominance on the glass, pulling down (then) career-high 17 rebounds (nine offensive) with 15 points (7-10 FT) against No. 11 Purdue; also added three steals and two blocks …had 17 points (8-10 FG) in 18 minutes vs. Saint Francis (Pa.) … started BIG EAST play with double-double (10 points, game-high 11 rebounds) at No. 1 Connecticut, helping Notre Dame to its first-ever road win over a top-ranked opponent …reached 20-point mark for fourth time with 20-point (7-13 FG, 6-7 FT), eight-rebound effort in overtime win at South Florida; also had four assists and career high-tying three steals in (then) career-best 41 minutes …turned in balanced line against Rutgers with 11 points (4-6 FG), six rebounds and four assists …dodged foul trouble against Georgetown to record 12 points and 10 rebounds, while adding two steals and two blocks … piled up second double-double in a row with 16 points (8-13 FG) and game-high 12 rebounds (eight offensive), plus three assists and two blocks, in 23 minutes against St. John’s … posted first career “5-5-5” game at Pittsburgh, tying career high with five assists while also chipping in six points and seven rebounds … scored 14 points and grabbed 12 rebounds in only 20 minutes of action against Providence … had 19 points (7-14 FG; career high for FGA) and 11 rebounds in 35 minutes at Villanova (also had two blocks, her sixth multiple-block game of the season) … tallied game highs of 22 points (8-11 FG) and 12 rebounds in ESPN2 Big Monday win over No. 10/11 Louisville …nabbed latest double-double with 17 points (6-12 FG) and game-high 10 rebounds at Marquette … scored 14 points, grabbed eight rebounds and dished out four assists at DePaul … despite missing almost entire first half against No. 22/20 Syracuse (second foul at 15:59), roared back with 15th double-double of season (11 points, 12 rebounds) … contributed 14 points, game-high eight rebounds and four assists at Providence …played career-high 42 minutes in triple-overtime win against No. 3 Connecticut, collecting 17 points (5-10 FG, 7-8 FT) and eight rebounds … had monster 20-point, 20-rebound game in BIG EAST quarterfinal win over South Florida, becoming first Notre Dame player with 20 points/20 rebounds in the same game since Jan. 20, 1988, when Heidi Bunek had 25 points and 20 rebounds in an 80-77 loss at DePaul; also the first player from any school with a 20/20 game in the BIG EAST Championship since March 6, 1993, when Connecticut’s Rebecca Lobo had 23 points and a tournament-record 24 rebounds in a win over Seton Hall at Alumni Hall in Providence, R.I.; was the first Fighting Irish player with a 20-rebound game since Bunek’s performance at DePaul in 1988 …scored 11 points and nine rebounds against No. 16/15 Louisville in BIG EAST semifinal in 25 minutes … made game-winning layup with 1.8 seconds remaining in BIG EAST final at No. 3 Connecticut, helping Notre Dame win its first BIG EAST Championship title in its final season in the conference; had six points in 14 foul-shortened minutes (played final six minutes with four fouls) … scored 16 points and grabbed eight rebounds in NCAA Championship first-round win over Tennessee-Martin; scored 1,000th career point on layup with 18:03 left in second half … broke school record with 17th double-double of season by posting 11 points and game-high 14 rebounds in NCAA second-round win at Iowa …recorded second double-double in as many NCAA Championship games with 17 points (7-11 FG), including 16 in second half, and game-high 10 rebounds in Sweet 16 win over Kansas (also tied career high for fifth time with three blocks …fashioned third consecutive double-double with 17 points (9-11 FT) and game-high 13 rebounds in NCAA Elite Eight win over No. 5 Duke; first Notre Dame player with three consecutive double-doubles in NCAA Championship play since 2004 (Jacqueline Batteast) … scored 10 points and grabbed six rebounds (four offensive) in NCAA Women’s Final Four semifinal game vs. No. 3 Connecticut.
SOPHOMORE SEASON (2011-12): Played in 36 games, earning one start (first of career) … chalked up 7.6 points and 4.4 rebounds per game … ranked third in BIG EAST with team-high .557 field goal percentage … missed first three games of season while recovering from preseason surgery to correct torn meniscus … first action of the season came during a scoreless 12 minutes at No. 1 Baylor which yielded four rebounds … eight points in 19 minutes against USC … seven points and seven rebounds in 13 minutes against Penn … scorched Creighton for career-high 20 points (8-11 FG) in 18 minutes off the bench … had 11 points, two blocks at Purdue … scored 15 points with five rebounds vs. No. 8/7 Kentucky … collected a season-best eight rebounds and scored in double digits (12) for the fourth time in five games vs. Central Florida … had eight points, five rebounds, two blocks in home win over Longwood … totaled 13 points (career-high 9-10 FT) and three blocks in 12 minutes at Mercer … earned first career start vs. No. 2 Connecticut and produced four points, four rebounds and three assists in 20 minutes … seven points and seven rebounds at No. 18/17 Georgetown … matched career best with three blocks at Cincinnati, adding eight points and pair of steals … dropped in 19 points (8-9 FG, career-high 2-3 3FG) and grabbed seven rebounds in just 17 minutes against Pittsburgh … needed 11 minutes against No. 7/9 Tennessee to record seven points and three assists … used 6-of-8 shooting effort for 15 points at No. 13/14 Rutgers … 16 points and five rebounds on second consecutive 6-of-8 shooting performance vs. No. RV/23 DePaul … posted season-high-tying eight rebounds and seven points at Syracuse … scored eight points and dished out career-high-tying five assists against Liberty in NCAA Championship opener … scored nine points and brought down five rebounds against No. 21/25 St. Bonaventure in NCAA Sweet 16 … registered best NCAA Championship outing of her career with 18 points (7-10 FG) and seven rebounds in Raleigh Regional final victory over No. 5 Maryland … had efficient eight-point (4-5 FG), seven-rebound, three-steal effort in season-high 27 minutes of NCAA Final Four overtime win against No. 3 Connecticut … scored seven points and hauled down six rebounds in NCAA national championship game against No. 1 Baylor.
FRESHMAN SEASON (2010-11): Played in all 39 games … averaged 6.9 ppg., and 5.3 rpg., with .566 field goal percentage (would have been fourth in BIG EAST, second among freshmen but needed to make five more baskets to qualify for minimum ranking of 3.0 FGM/game) … nearly chalked up a “5-5-5” game (at least “5” in three major statistical categories) in her college debut against New Hampshire, finishing with seven points, four rebounds and career-high five assists in 16 minutes … one of four Fighting Irish players in double figures against Morehead State with 10 points (5-8 FG) … grabbed career-high 13 boards — including eight on the offensive end — and scored four points at No. 9/10 Kentucky … dropped in 11 points during win over Wake Forest in WBCA Classic … posted 12 points during a home win over Purdue while snatching seven caroms with four assists and two steals in 24 minutes … made quick work of Providence with a team-high 13 points on 5-of-6 shooting in only nine minutes (weakened by flu) … averaged 13.5 points and 4.0 rebounds per game, scoring better than a point per minute (27 points in 26 minutes), and registered an astronomical .857 field goal percentage (12-of-14) during a two-game stretch (Dec. 8-11) to earn BIG EAST Freshman of the Week honors … tallied season-high 14 points (on 7-of-8 shooting) and added five rebounds during home victory over Creighton … one of three Fighting Irish players to score in double figures (12 points) against Valparaiso while successfully draining her first career three-point attempt … good for eight points, seven boards, two assists, two blocks and two steals in a home rout of Southeast Missouri State … registered 12 points, four rebounds and two steals at Marquette … notched nine points and eight boards vs. No. 2 Connecticut … grabbed game-high nine boards during the matchup with Louisville … dropped in six points, while also snatching seven boards against No. 16/17 Georgetown … put down four points and managed four boards and a steal to limit No. RV/23 St. John’s … posted four points, three rebounds and an assist in the victory over Villanova … racked up 13 points (6-9 FG, including second 3FG of season) vs. No. RV/25 Syracuse … matched season high with 14 points (4-6 FG, season-high 6-10 FT) at South Florida; also grabbed eight boards during the win … added 12 points and game-high six rebounds in win over Seton Hall … grabbed six rebounds in victory over Cincinnati … added seven rebounds at No. 12/11 DePaul … notched eight points (4-5 FG) and five rebounds in BIG EAST semifinal win over No. 9/13 DePaul … posted first career double-double with 12 points (6-11 FG) and game-high 10 rebounds in BIG EAST title game against No. 1 Connecticut … grabbed four rebounds at Utah in NCAA tournament debut … had near double-double in NCAA second-round win over Temple with 10 points (5-7 FG; made first five shots) and eight rebounds off the bench … logged strong effort in Sweet 16 win over No. 21/20 Oklahoma with 10 points and eight rebounds … helped Fighting Irish topple No. 4 Tennessee in NCAA Dayton Regional final with six rebounds and two steals …had four points and four rebounds in NCAA Final Four win over No. 1 Connecticut.
HIGH SCHOOL: Graduated from St. Mary’s Catholic Secondary School in Hamilton, Ontario, but did not play her senior season due to her previous participation with the National Elite Development Academy (NEDA); NEDA was a national training center program that brought together the top 12 female developmental athletes from across Canada to train, live and attend high school in a central location (was hosted jointly by the city of Hamilton and McMaster University, and overseen by Canada Basketball) … selected to join NEDA for her sophomore and junior years of high school before Academy closed in 2009 due to lack of funding; was youngest player selected for NEDA in 2007-08 (age 14) … played for NEDA team (coached by Mark Walton) that competed against variety of opponents, including Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) and Canadian Colleges Athletic Association (CCAA) teams, American junior college programs (NJCAA), American prep schools, and other international competition … highlights of her NEDA career included: game-high 25 points in 2009 game vs. the Toronto Stealth of the semi-pro Women’s Blue Chip Basketball League (WBCBL); 18 points in 2009 exhibition vs. Genesee Community College (N.Y.); 19 points in 2009 game vs. Oak Hill Academy (Va.); 19 points and 11 rebounds in 2008 exhibition vs. Monroe Community College (N.Y.); game-high 30 points in 2008 exhibition vs. Laurentian University (Sudbury, Ontario); averaged 16.3 points and 11.7 rebounds with three double-doubles in three-game 2008 exhibition series vs. Argentina U18 National Team; averaged 14.7 points and 6.7 rebounds per game at 2007 Laurentian University Invitational Tournament … spent her freshman year at Centennial Collegiate & Vocational Institute (CCVI) in Guelph, Ontario.
INTERNATIONAL COMPETITION: Five-time Canada Basketball selection and three-time international medalist … youngest player ever selected for Canadian Senior National Team, making her debut in September 2009 at age 16 … most recently earned silver medal with Team Canada at 2013 FIBA Americas Championship in Xalapa, Mexico, averaging 7.5 points and 5.0 rebounds per game with a .462 field goal percentage as her nation clinched a spot in the 2014 FIBA World Championships (Achonwa had 11 points, 10 rebounds in semifinal win over Puerto Rico that secured that World Championship berth) … played for Canada in 2012 London Olympics, helping her country to its first medal-round (quarterfinal) berth in 28 years in its first Olympic appearance since 2000; as second-youngest player in Olympic women’s basketball tournament at age 19 (only 42 days older than Angola’s Ana Goncalves), came off the bench in all six games, averaging 7.2 points, 3.8 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game with two double-figure scoring efforts during the tournament — 14 points (and game-high eight rebounds) in 64-60 loss to eventual silver medalist France, and 11 points in 79-73 preliminary-round win over the world’s sixth-ranked team, Brazil, that clinched Canada’s quarterfinal berth … suited up for Team Canada at 2010 FIBA World Championships in Czech Republic (Canada finished 12th); averaged 4.6 points and 3.9 rebounds in eight games at the tournament, including a near double-double (12p, 8r) in the second round against defending European champion France … in July 2010, competed for Canada in four-game exhibition series against Chile and Sweden in British Columbia; averaged 9.5 points and 4.5 rebounds per game, with a .538 field goal percentage (14-of-26) and a .769 free throw percentage (10-of-13) in that four-game series which was part of Canada training camp before World Championship … made Canadian Senior National Team debut at the 2009 FIBA Americas Championship in Cuiaba, Brazil, helping country to bronze medal (third-place finish) and berth in 2010 FIBA World Championships … played in all five games for Canada in tournament, averaging 6.6 ppg. and 4.2 rpg., while finishing second on team in steals (1.2 spg.) and blocks (0.6 bpg.) … earlier in the summer of 2009, suited up for Canadian Junior Women’s National Team at FIBA U19 World Championships in Bangkok, Thailand, sparking team to its best-ever placement (fourth) — reached semifinals before losing to USA squad led by her current position coach at Notre Dame (associate head coach Carol Owens) … named a third-team all-star at the FIBA U19 Worlds after starting all nine games in tournament, averaging 10.3 ppg. (second on team) and 6.1 rpg. (third on team), along with a team-high 1.4 spg. … made international debut at age 15 (youngest player selected) for Canada’s junior team at 2008 FIBA U18 Americas Championship in Buenos Aires, Argentina, pacing her nation to the silver medal (4-1 record); averaged 7.2 ppg., 5.8 rpg. and 1.0 spg. in the tournament.
AWARDS/HONORS: Third-team all-star at 2009 FIBA U19 World Championships … 2007 Laurentian University Invitational all-tournament team … MVP of Canadian provincial championship tournaments in 2006 (U15) and 2008 (U17), and first-team all-star in 2007 (U17) … two-time tournament MVP (2006, 2007) for Ontario Basketball Association Division I provincial championships … NEDA team captain as junior (2008-09) … CCVI Female Athlete of the Year in 2006-07 … as freshman at CCVI, earned city MVP honors in both basketball and soccer, as well as regional MVP laurels in basketball … lettered and was team all-star in three sports at CCVI (basketball, soccer and volleyball) … ranked 23rd by Dan Olson Collegiate Girls Basketball Report (fifth-highest small forward), 80th by All-Star Girls Report (18th among wing forwards) and 85th by Blue Star Basketball … not rated by ESPN Hoopgurlz, which did not evaluate Canadian players, but was considered equivalent to top-25 signee by that media outlet.
PERSONAL DATA: Last name is pronounced uh-CHAWN-wuh … hometown is pronounced GWELF … daughter of Marion and Manny Achonwa … middle of three children … older brother, Adrian, played basketball at the University of Guelph (Ontario) … academic honor roll pick throughout her high school career … in 2009, was selected as one of Guelph’s “top 40 influential people under 40” by the Guelph Mercury … graduated in May 2014 from Notre Dame’s top-ranked Mendoza College of Business with her bachelor’s degree in management-consulting.
Achonwa’s Career Statistics
Achonwa’s Conference Statistics