Natalie Achonwa
Women’s Basketball – 2012

Achonwa’s Notre Dame Bio

Natalie Achonwa

Junior forward on the Fighting Irish women’s basketball team … one of two current/future Notre Dame student-athletes competing in the 2012 London Olympics, along with incoming freshman fencer Lee Kiefer (women’s individual/team foil) … helped Canada earn its first Olympic berth in women’s basketball since the 2000 Sydney Games (10th place finish) … also one of three Canadians with Notre Dame ties who will be suiting up in London, along with Fighting Irish women’s soccer alums Candace Chapman (’05) and Melissa Tancredi (’04) … Canada had two squads qualify in team sports for this year’s Olympics — women’s basketball and women’s soccer … the fifth Canadian to come through Notre Dame on the way to the Olympics — the others are former track & field athlete/head coach Alex Wilson (’32), who earned a bronze in the 4×400-meter relay at the 1928 Amsterdam Olympics, and medaled twice at the 1932 Los Angeles Games in the 400 meters (bronze) and 800 meters (silver), and fencing sabreist Leszek Nowosielski (’91), who competed at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona. Natalie Achonwa

Has been a mainstay with the Canadian Senior Women’s National Team since 2009, when she made her first appearance with the program at age 16 (the youngest player ever called up to Canada’s top women’s basketball squad) … averaged 4.5 points per game while appearing in four of five contests during the 2012 FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Turkey (missed final game vs. Japan with ankle injury) … averaged 7.3 points and 2.7 rebounds per game with a .692 field goal percentage (9-of-13) in three-game exhibition series vs. China in May 2012 in British Columbia, with Canada winning twice against the world’s seventh-ranked team — she scored in double figures in the first two games (12 points, 10 points) before starting the third game and suffering a slight concussion early on that sidelined her the rest of the night … most significant international tournament action prior to this year’s Olympics came at 2010 FIBA World Championships in the Czech Republic, when she averaged 4.6 points and 3.9 rebounds in eight games, including a near double-double vs. reigning European champion France (12 points, eight rebounds), as Canada finished 12th in the 16-team field.

The first international player in the 36-year history of the Fighting Irish women’s basketball program … has spent time as a top reserve during her first two seasons at Notre Dame, helping Fighting Irish to consecutive appearances in the NCAA national championship game … in 75 career games, she is averaging 7.2 points and 4.9 rebounds per game with a .561 field goal percentage, which would rank as the sixth-best career shooting ratio in school history (she needs eight more field goal attempts to qualify) … in 2011-12, she averaged a career-high 7.6 points and 4.4 rebounds per game with a .557 field goal percentage, scoring in double figures 10 times … scored a career-best 20 points at Creighton and added a critical 18-point, seven-rebound performance in Notre Dame’s 80-49 win over No. 5 Maryland in the NCAA Raleigh Regional final.

A resident of Guelph, Ontario, Achonwa is enrolled in Notre Dame’s top-ranked Mendoza College of Business