Oct. 19, 2016
By Leigh Torbin
Before she was a collegiate All-American for the Irish, Brianna Turner was a prep All-American in Houston, Texas. The 2014 Gatorade National High School female Athlete of the Year also claimed Texas Miss Basketball honors during her playing career at Manvel High School.
Turner maintains her ties to her hometown and, come Nov. 22, will return to her roots only she’ll be bringing the Irish with her. Notre Dame will face Louisiana-Lafayette on that Tuesday night in the Campbell Center.
“I’m really excited,” says the junior forward. “My parents come to a lot of games here but not a lot of my extended family can make it out to games. I’m really excited to have my friends and family be able to come watch me play in college live. I’m really excited to go to Texas this week for fall break and to return next month to play.”
The Irish will anticipate a battle from the Ragin’ Cajuns who went 25-10 a year ago, including a pair of power conference victories over Ole Miss and Arkansas. UL-Lafayette is far from the only challenging hurdle in a non-conference schedule that includes UConn, Tennessee, DePaul, Michigan State, Iowa and others, but there is no question that, for Turner, it will be perhaps the most special hurdle placed before the Irish outside of ACC play.
Turner’s father, Howard, played basketball at Lamar University in near-by Beaumont, Texas. Turner’s mother, Kellye, played basketball at the University of Houston. Her roots are deep in Houston.
The Space City launched Turner’s basketball career which has already seen success at the high school and junior international levels as Team USA is 37-2 with Turner on the roster for teams such as the Under-18 World Championships. The next stage ÃƒÆ’Â¢ÃƒÂ¢’Â¬” her successful collegiate career ÃƒÆ’Â¢ÃƒÂ¢’Â¬” has started to take off at Notre Dame and will make a landing back at its launch site next month.
Leigh Torbin, athletics communications associate director at the University of Notre Dame, has been part of the Fighting Irish athletics communications team since 2013 and coordinates all media efforts for Notre Dame’s women’s basketball and men’s golf teams. 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.