Notre Dame Women’s Basketball Signs Top-Five Class
Renowned as a supreme recruiter during her days as a Notre Dame assistant for Muffet McGraw from 2007-19, Niele Ivey is not about to let that reputation fade now that she is the first-year head coach at her alma mater.
On Friday afternoon, Notre Dame announced the signing of 5-11 five-star point guard Olivia Miles from Phillipsburg, N.J., and 6-1 four-star guard/wing Sonia Citron from Scarsdale, N.Y.
Miles is ranked the nation’s No. 8 player overall by ESPN Hoopgurlz, and the second-best point guard. Citron is No. 16 overall and sixth at her position. Prospects Nation has Miles as the nation’s No. 4 overall player and Citron No. 31.
“They exemplified everything I was looking for as I began to build this new era: strong work ethic, high character, confidence, competitive mentality and swagger,” said Ivey in a university press release. . “…They will always have a special place in my heart for being a part of my first signing class.”
The class is ranked No. 5, with other past and current superpowers ahead of them. The Fighting Irish are one of four schools that signed multiple top 20 ESPN Hoopgurlz prospects.
• South Carolina led the way with four among the top 14 — including the players ranked 2-3-4.
• Connecticut had three among the top 15, led by the consensus No. 1 player in guard Azzi Fudd.
• Rapidly rising Notre Dame ACC rival North Carolina signed four players among the top 20, while Stanford inked two.
Miles and Citron already have been teammates, and their relationship helped both decide on Notre Dame. They were members of the U16 USA National Team in 2019, where they brought home the gold medal in Chile with a 6-0 record. Citron started all six games and averaged 13.3 points, 2.8 rebounds and 1.8 assists, and was named to the All-Tournament Team. Miles also started all six games and averaged 5.2 points and a team high 7.5 assists.
They also played with the Philadelphia Belles in AAU competition. Meanwhile, in June of 2019, Miles and current freshman guard Alli Campbell won the Nike Girls EYBL together in Indianapolis.
At Blair Academy last season, Miles averaged 13.6 points, 8.1 rebounds and 7.6 assists while leading it to a Prep A State Championship.
“Olivia is a special talent and one of the most dynamic guards I’ve ever seen,” said Ivey, whose first major recruit was Skylar Diggins. “She has incredible quickness, tremendous vision and the ability to make everyone around her better. She is a poised floor general that plays at a fast pace and brings a unique flair.
“She is great at attacking 1-on-1 and is a true competitor. From her no-look passes, deep scoring range, and elite finishing package, she will bring a whole new level of swag to South Bend. I can’t wait to see her flourish in our system and help lead our program back to the top.”
Meanwhile, Citron was named the 2020 New York State Gatorade Player of the Year and already is The Ursuline School’s all-time leader in career points (1,874) and rebounds (1,035).
Last year she averaged 23.8 points, 10.4 rebounds, 3.5 steals, 4.3 assists and 2.9 blocks while spearheading a perfect 24-0 mark and the Koalas first Section I title since 2003 before the state finals were canceled because of COVID-19.
“She has the capability to stretch the defense with her three-point shooting range, attack off the dribble, distribute, and post up smaller defenders with her size,” Ivey said. “On the defensive end, she uses her athleticism to rebound and loves to take on any challenges.
“Mostly I am impressed by her unselfish persona, high IQ, and willingness to do whatever it takes to help her team win.”
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