basketball Edit

Notre Dame Basketball Officially Adds Longtime Commit JR Konieczny

Notre Dame has its lone 2021 commit officially in the fold.

Not that there was any suspense about it.

JR Konieczny, a three-star recruit from South Bend (Ind.) St. Joseph, signed his letter of intent to play for Notre Dame Wednesday. The 6-7, 195-pound wing committed to the Irish in August 2019, less than a month after he picked up the offer following an impressive performance at the NCAA College Basketball Academy in Champaign, Ill.

Sign up for Blue & Gold's FREE alerts and newsletter

South Bend (Ind.) St. Joseph small forward and Notre Dame commit JR Konieczny
Rivals rates Konieczny as a three-star recruit, and the No. 32 small forward and No. 136 overall prospect nationally.

“That was special. I remember it like it was yesterday,” Konieczny said Wednesday after signing. “I got out of one of the games…I remember walking up to my dad and showing him the phone, I was like, ‘I think coach [Mike] Brey just offered me. It was a special moment between me and him for sure.”

Konieczny is the lone signee in Notre Dame’s 2021 class, though Brey and staff are trying to add Konieczny’s friend and fellow South Bend product Blake Wesley to it. The four-star guard from Riley High School is the Irish’s top target, but is not expected to sign during the November window, which ends on the 18th. Konieczny is doing his part to get him in the fold.

“I’ve been on his butt since I committed,” Konieczny said. “It’s been a thing in the back of our minds. What if the two hometown kids committed to the hometown school?”

Ranking And Honors

Rivals: Three-star recruit, and No. 32 small forward and No. 136 overall player nationally

Awards: 2020 IndyStar Third-Team All-State, 2020 IndyStar Indiana Junior All-Star team, 2020 Indiana Basketball Coaches Association “Supreme 15” Underclass Team Selection, 2020 Northern Indiana Conference First-Team


Offers: Bradley, Butler, Creighton, Iowa, Miami (Ohio), Valparaiso

Konieczny added his Notre Dame offer on July 26, 2019, after Brey gave the approval upon his in-person evaluation. He had visited before unofficially for football and basketball games, but came on a more personal recruiting visit to spend more time with the coaches and see the facilities shortly after adding the offer.

If he was merely intrigued upon getting the offer, the visit put Notre Dame in a favorable spot to land him, and land him soon. The desire to play for his hometown school and in the ACC led him to a quick commitment. He pledged on Aug. 18, 2019.

“It definitely changed my whole perspective on everything for sure,” Konieczny said. “I have my family here, friends, relative around this area. It definitely changed things for me to stay close to all of them, they can come out to support at some games and I can stay and watch my little brother (Chase) as he grows up.”

Konieczny had previously taken visits to Butler, Indiana and Ohio State. The latter two did not end up offering.

During his junior year, Konieczny continued to drop by whenever he could for home games. He averaged “23 or 24” points per game as a junior, helping St. Joseph go 17-6. He played AAU the last two summers for Indiana Elite. His jump shot is the highlight of his game, with range that extends out to near the NBA 3-point line. He projects as a multi-positional wing player at the 3 or the 4 with his athleticism and skill at his size.

“When I was on my visit there, coach Brey showed me some film of (former Notre Dame guards) Pat Connaughton and Steve Vasturia,” Konieczny said. “He thought I could fill one of those kinds of roles. I’ll fill in wherever they want me to.

“He likes how I can shoot the ball from the outside, but attack and create a shot for myself. I know I have to work on defense and get stronger for sure. But the main thing I’m going off is my jump shot.”

Analyst And Coach’s Take

“I like JR’s size, I like his skill. I love the quick release on his jumper, and I really like the idea of him as a skill guy who could stretch the floor as a small ball four man in some situations as he gets stronger and finishes growing.” — Eric Bossi, former national recruiting analyst

“JR is just a very skilled kid. I know some doubt that a guy who is 6-foot-6 or 6-foot-7 would have guard skills, but he really has guard skills. He can shoot it well, and he also is a good ball handler who moves his feet well. Notre Dame is going to have a player that fits in really well with what they like to do.” — Indiana Elite coach Mike Adams



• Learn more about our print and digital publication, Blue & Gold Illustrated.

• Watch our videos and subscribe to our YouTube channel.

• Sign up for Blue & Gold's news alerts and daily newsletter.

Subscribe to our podcast on Apple Podcasts.

• Follow us on Twitter: @BGINews, @BGI_LouSomogyi, @Rivals_Singer, @PatrickEngel_, @MasonPlummer_ and @AndrewMentock.

• Like us on Facebook.