Former Stanford guard Lili Thompson announces graduate transfer to Notre Dame

Mike Vorel
South Bend Tribune

It was a productive evening for the Notre Dame women's basketball program Thursday.

Shortly after the Irish overwhelmed Wake Forest, plans were in place to welcome a new, experienced player to the fold.

Former Stanford point guard Lili Thompson announced on Twitter earlier in the day that she will join Notre Dame as a graduate transfer in the 2017-18 season.

Thompson was in attendance with her parents at Purcell Pavilion Thursday night and her father, Greg, said his daughter was set to sign a letter of intent immediately after the game.

The graduation of current senior Lindsay Allen will open a spot at the point.

"I enjoyed my time at Stanford, but decided not to use my last year of eligibility there,'' Thompson told the Tribune before the start of Thursday's game. "After a layoff, I decided I wanted to finish my college career at Notre Dame. They have great players, a great coaching staff and great academics — why not.''

The 5-foot-7 Thompson — a Mansfield, Texas, native — has an extensive resume, including All-Pac-12 honors in her sophomore and junior seasons and a spot on the All-Pac-12 Freshman Team in 2014.

At one time, she considered an early entry into the WNBA draft.

"I'm SO excited to announce the next step in my journey!" Thompson wrote on Twitter earlier in the day. "I have decided to postpone my entry into the WNBA Draft and make a return to College Basketball. For the 2017-2018 season, I will be joining the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame!

"I'm excited to join what is already a stellar team, and to get to work on winning a National Championship. Thanks to everyone, past and present, who has been a part of this process and supported me. Go Irish!"

Thompson started 96 of 104 career games at Stanford, averaging 12.0 points per game and racking up 295 assists. Last season, Thompson was named Pac-12 Player of the Week three times and averaged 14.7 points and 3.5 assists per game.

In Stanford's 90-84 Sweet Sixteen upset victory over Notre Dame last March, Thompson had 11 points and nine assists in 37 minutes.

The former Timberview High School standout chose to leave Stanford's program prior to her senior season this fall, though she remained enrolled at the university.

In South Bend, Thompson will have to compete for playing time with a slew of talented guards, including current sophomores Arike Ogunbowale and Ali Patberg, junior Mychal Johnson and freshman Jackie Young.

— Ken Klimek contributed to this article.

mvorel@ndinsider.com | 574-235-6428 | Twitter: @mikevorel

☘ It's finally time to announce Chapter 2! ☘ pic.twitter.com/HZaqfCMPg6

— Lili Thompson (@Lili_Thompson) January 5, 2017

Former Stanford guard Lili Thompson, who will transfer to Notre Dame for her final season in 2017-18, celebrates after scoring against Oklaho­ma during an NCAA women's college basketball tournament game Mon­day in Stanford, Calif. AP Photo/MARCIO JOSE SANCHEZ