Notre Dame women add Stanford transfer Jenna Brown to roster

Anthony Anderson
Stanford guard Jenna Brown plays during a first-round game against UC Davis in the NCAA women's college basketball tournament in Stanford, Calif. Saturday, March 23, 2019. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

SOUTH BEND — The Stanford pipeline that has served Notre Dame women’s basketball well is being tapped into again.

Jenna Brown will join ND for the 2022-23 season, the school announced Tuesday afternoon.

A 5-foot-10 guard from Atlanta, Brown has not played at all over the last two seasons, taking a medical redshirt for 2020-21 due to a knee injury, then continuing to sit out this past season, “as she was not fully recovered,” per Notre Dame.

A great niece of basketball coaching legend Larry Brown, Jenna was a highly regarded recruit out of high school, but played mostly sparingly during her freshman and sophomore seasons with the perennial power Cardinal.

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“I am so excited to welcome Jenna Brown to our Notre Dame family,” Irish coach Niele Ivey said 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,” Ivey continued. “She is a perfect addition to our strong core, and I’m looking forward to working with her and mentoring her.”

In 58 games at Stanford over the 2018-19 and 2019-20 seasons, before missing the last seven of her sophomore year due to injury, Brown averaged 1.8 points and 7.8 minutes per contest. She shot 39.8% on 2s, 4-of-23 for 17.4% on 3s and 52.4% at the line. She added 0.9 assists and 0.8 turnovers an outing.

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 Stanford, Calif. Team USA won 95-80. (AP Photo/John Hefti)

Over Brown’s two years of playing, the Cardinal went 31-5 with an Elite Eight appearance and 27-6. With her still a part of the program the last two years, Stanford won the national title in 2021 to cap a 31-2 season and went 32-4 this past winter with another Final Four appearance.

Brown is the second Cardinal player in the last two offseasons to transfer to Notre Dame, and the second from Georgia no less.

Forward Maya Dodson came aboard last year and went on to a resounding season with the Irish, earning All-Atlantic Coast Conference first-team honors.

Dodson sought a waiver to continue her ND career this coming season, but was denied by the NCAA, before being drafted by Phoenix of the WNBA two weeks ago with the 26th overall pick.

Guard Lili Thompson is still another player that transferred from Stanford to Notre Dame, doing so in 2017 and competing for an Irish team that went on to win the 2018 national title.

Coming out of high school in 2018, Brown was the No. 18-ranked player nationally in her class, per ESPN, and a McDonald’s All-American.

She originally committed to Notre Dame verbally when she was in high school, but later reopened her recruitment and chose Stanford in July 2017.

Now Brown becomes the first addition to the Irish roster since veteran rotation regulars Sam Brunelle, Anaya Peoples and Abby Prohaska all announced on March 30 that they were entering the transfer portal.

Brunelle has since joined Virginia and Peoples has signed with DePaul, putting each back in her home state.

ND is expected to make more additions to its roster before next season and particularly appears to need help on the inside with the departure of Dodson.

In forward Maddy Westbeld and guards Olivia Miles, Sonia Citron and Dara Mabrey, the Irish have four starters expected back from last season’s team that went 24-9 and advanced to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament.

Two-time Ohio Ms. Basketball KK Bransford is the lone freshman signee, though, while the departures of Dodson, Brunelle, Peoples and Prohaska, left Nat Marshall, who underwent season-ending knee surgery in late January, and Katlyn Gilbert, who never played after Dec. 19 due to personal reasons, as the only other scholarship players on the roster.

As for Brown, her older sister, Taylor, played at Princeton from 2014-17, and her grandfather, Herb — Larry’s brother — was head coach of the NBA’s Detroit Pistons for parts of three seasons in the 1970s.

Brown is expected to graduate from Stanford soon with a degree in political science. It was not immediately clear how many seasons of eligibility she has remaining.