Last season, Notre Dame won its second National Championship in school history by beating Mississippi State 61–58.
This weekend, they look to earn their third National Championship which would be something special for two Indiana natives, junior star Jackie Young and freshman Katlyn Gilbert.
Now when it comes to Young, she is a returning starter and she has had another strong season, ranking third on the Irish in scoring with 15 points and 7 rebounds per game while leading the team in assists at five per game.
A graduate of Princeton Community High School, Young is no stranger to success, having averaged 30 points per game as senior and finishing her high school career as the leading scorer (girls’ or boys’ basketball) in Indiana high school history with 3,268 points and as 2016 McDonald’s All-American.
Not to mention her various accolades including 2016 Naismith National Player of the Year and 2016 Indiana Gatorade Player of the Year.
Despite not being a senior this year, Young would be eligible for the 2019 WNBA Draft if she declared because she turns 22 in the calendar year of the draft. According to NDInsider.com, ESPN has projected Young to go No. 6 overall possibly in this year’s WNBA Draft if she chooses to leave school early and enter.
Which leads us to our other Lady Irish member and Indiana native who is sure to make a lot of Irish fans happy over the next few years, Katlyn Gilbert.
A freshman guard, Gilbert’s season was cut short with a shoulder injury in December that has kept her out the rest of this season. However, still there for her teammates, she could win her first National Championship this year as freshman with many more to look forward to in the next few years.
Although only a freshman, Gilbert is no stranger to championships. A four year letter winner in women’s basketball at Heritage Christian School, Gilbert help to lead her team back-to-back Class 3A State Championships in her first two seasons. Plus, as a senior she 18.5 points, 7.0 rebounds and 4.0 steals per game while becoming just the second women’s basketball player at Heritage Christian School history to be named a McDonald’s All-American.
So while she may be out of commission right now, there is no doubt that once she is fully recovered, she will be a force to be reckon with.
Notre Dame will face-off against UConn this Friday on ESPN 2, should they win, they will once again head to the championship game and face the winner of the Baylor/Oregon match-up.