Notre Dame women's basketball to get North Carolina transfer

Anthony Anderson
Tribune Correspondent

SOUTH BEND — Destinee Walker, who averaged 13.3 points over her freshman and sophomore years at North Carolina before being sidelined by injuries for much of the last two, is expected to transfer to Notre Dame, where she could have up to two seasons of women’s basketball eligibility remaining.

Photos of a smiling Walker posing in a Notre Dame uniform were posted to social media on Sunday.

Irish coach Muffet McGraw said Monday evening in a text that she could not comment on Walker’s apparent transfer pending the completion of necessary paperwork.

Walker, a 5-foot-10 guard, has received honors for academics and for her defensive play during her career at UNC.

As a grad transfer, she would be immediately eligible to play for the Irish next season.

She could also seek another year of eligibility under NCAA hardship guidelines based on playing in just four games for the Tar Heels last season.

Walker did not play after a Nov. 24 outing against Kentucky. Her season highs were 15 minutes and four points against UCLA.

As a freshman in 2015-16, the McDonald’s All-American guard from Orlando, Fla., averaged 13.9 points, 3.7 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 37.3 minutes on her way to Atlantic Coast Conference All-Freshman honors.

As a sophomore, she averaged 12.4 points, 3.7 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 32.6 minutes before sitting out the final 10 games due to injury.

In 57 career contests, Walker is a 43.8 percent shooter from 2-point range.

She shot just 26.7 percent on 3-pointers (48-of-180) as a freshman, but improved to 33.9 percent (39-of-115) as a sophomore. She’s a career 78.3 percent free throw shooter.

A graduate of Lake Highland Prep in Orlando, Walker was the No. 17 rated high school player in her class as a senior by ESPN.

With four standout seniors in Arike Ogunbowale, Jessica Shepard, Brianna Turner and Marina Mabrey departing national runner-up Notre Dame after this past season — all four were drafted among the WNBA’s top 19 last week — plus Jackie Young leaving a year early — she was selected No. 1 overall — the Irish are down to just six returning scholarship players in juniors-to-be Danielle Patterson and Mikayla Vaughn, and sophomores-to-be Jordan Nixon, Katlyn Gilbert, Abby Prohaska and Danielle Cosgrove.

Incoming freshmen Samantha Brunelle (No. 4 in her class by ESPN) and Anaya Peoples (No. 21) will arrive as McDonald’s All-Americans.

North Carolina’s Destinee Walker is now destined for Notre Dame as a transfer.