basketball Edit

Ivey gets busy in the portal, lands Stanford transfer guard Jenna Brown

Stanford guard Jenna Brown (54) shoots against Team USA in the fourth quarter of an exhibition women's basketball game, Saturday, Nov. 2, 2019, in Palo Alto, Calif.
Stanford guard Jenna Brown (54) shoots against Team USA in the fourth quarter of an exhibition women's basketball game, Saturday, Nov. 2, 2019, in Palo Alto, Calif. (John Hefti, Associated Press)

For six months in 2017, Jenna Brown was verbally committed to the Notre Dame women’s basketball program as a top 20 player nationally in her class with a promising future.

Life came full circle on Tuesday for the 5-foot-10 guard from Atlanta as she and ND found each other again, roughly five years after she decommitted from the Irish to play at Stanford. She’s hoping to tap into the potential that was never realized with the Cardinal.

Notre Dame announced Brown’s pending transfer on Tuesday. She’s in line to get her degree from Stanford in political science and will likely have up to two years of eligibility at ND with the COVID exemption in play.

Later Tuesday, Oregon forward Kylee Watson became the second transfer of the day to join the Irish.

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The first game Brown plays in for head coach Niele Ivey and Notre Dame in the 2022-23 season will be her first college game action since the 2019-20 campaign, and then as a peripheral reserve.

She averaged 2.0 points and 1.0 assists in just 7.4 minutes that season as a sophomore in 2019-20, but missed the last seven games of that season with an injury — then went on to miss the next two full seasons while recovering.

“I am so excited to welcome Jenna Brown to our Notre Dame family,” Ivey said Tuesday in a statement. “She is an exceptional student and is someone who will positively impact this university and our program.

“Jenna brings a strong work ethic and motor along with an incredible skill set and high IQ. She is a perfect addition to our strong core, and I’m looking forward to working with her and mentoring her.”

Brown is a necessary depth piece after the Irish recently lost transferring guards Abby Prohaska (uncommitted), Katlyn Gilbert (uncommitted) and Anaya Peoples (DePaul) as well as forward Sam Brunelle (Virginia). Prep All-America guard KK Bransford from Cincinnati is the only high school player the Irish signed last November.

Adding players with size to the roster remains a priority, even with the Tuesday night addition of Watson.

Brown was the jewel of Notre Dame’s 2018 class, as the No. 18 player in ESPNw’s rankings. Prohaska (No. 73), Gilbert (27) and forward Danielle Cosgrove (68) were also in the class. When Brown decommitted in July of 2017, then-coach Muffett McGraw replaced her with guard Jordan Nixon (38), who eventually transferred to Texas A&M.

Brown’s great uncle is iconic NBA and college head coach Larry Brown. She suffered a torn ACL her junior season at The Lovett School in Atlanta, but came back strong and averaged 24.0 points, 9.5 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 2.4 steals as a senior. She earned McDonald’s All-America honors and made the gold-medal winning USA U18 team in 2018.

She averaged 7.5 points and 2.8 assists in the FIBA Americas U18 Championship in Mexico City in 2018.

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