Notre Dame recruit Erin Boley enjoyed Irish victory at Louisville

Ken Klimek
Tribune Correspondent

SOUTH BEND – She had great seats near the Notre Dame bench last Sunday. And she had just witnessed one of the most dramatic women’s college basketball games of the season.

From the smile she was beaming after the game, she obviously enjoyed the outcome.

She is Erin Boley, one of two Notre Dame women’s basketball recruits for next season and she had just watched her future Irish come from behind to defeat Louisville, 66-61, in front of more than 14,000 fans—most wearing red and supporting the Cardinals at the KFC Yum! Center.

“It was more than exciting,” said Boley, who during the game probably was envisioning what her role may be when she is a part of the Irish program next season.

Boley, along with Princeton, Ind.’s, Jackie Young, bring more than 6,000 points to Notre Dame next season. Both are McDonald’s All-Americans and both likely could have chosen any college to attend.

“Of all the schools I considered, Notre Dame was the best all-around fit for me,” said Boley, who is an outstanding student as well as an outstanding athlete. “I felt like when I visited and spent time with the team, I could fit in well. I enjoyed all of them. I felt the Notre Dame coaches were best to be able to develop me as a player and a person on and off the court.

Boley, a 6-foot-2 senior, certainly can shoot. She can face up as well as drive. She feels she will likely be a 3 in the Notre Dame system. “But I have played a lot of 4 in high school because of my size.”

Boley was the Kentucky Gatorade Player of the Year each of the last two seasons, and a leading candidate to make it a three-peat. She chose Notre Dame over Louisville, Tennessee, Stanford — and oh yes, Connecticut also offered her a scholarship.

She is not only A-plus material on the basketball court, but she is no stranger to a 4.0 grade-point average as well.

“I respect and admire Coach McGraw,” Boley said, adding that she enjoyed getting to know assistant coaches Niele Ivey and Beth Cunningham who were active in her recruiting process. “I am guessing coach Cunningham will be my position coach,” she said. “When the season is over, I hope to talk to Coach McGraw to see what she envisions for me next year.”

After the McDonald’s All-American game, she expects to be on campus in June to begin working out and getting familiar with her new life and her new team. Her Elizabethtown high school team still has a few games remaining on the schedule before the state tournament begins.

“I do think shooting is one of my assets,” Boley said. “But I want to be versatile also and be able to defend. I get a lot of points off the dribble, but in high school I have posted up a lot too. I know I will have to rebound. That will be a key. I will just work really hard to be whatever they need.”

Her high school coach, Tim Mudd, has said he has never seen a player with the work ethic Erin has. That kind of talk is music to the ears of the Notre Dame coaches.

Boley is not certain about her major when she arrives at Notre Dame. “I might end up in the school of business. Maybe I will study international business or marketing. I love to travel.” She will be logging plenty of miles when she is part of the Irish team and its schedule that features teams across the country.

She credits her parents with helping her develop as a student and a player. “My dad (Scott) played college basketball at Western Kentucky,” Boley said. “He was my biggest coach early and still works with me almost daily.” Boley loved softball, but quit playing after about eighth grade to focus on basketball.

Her focus has paid off. After her state tournament she can devote all her time to her new team, the Irish. And next season she may have a much better view of the game — likely from being on the court a considerable amount of time.

Elizabethtown's Erin Boley, a Notre Dame recruit, attempts a shot over John Hardin defenders. (Photo courtesy The News-Enterprise/NEAL CARDIN)