ND women's basketball: 5-star recruit Prosper to enroll in January

Tribune Staff report
Recruit Cassandre Prosper was at Notre Dame's last home game against Merrimack on Saturday, Dec. 10. She has announced that she will enroll for the spring semester next month and will be immediately eligible to compete.

Notre Dame's women's basketball will get an in-season boost as five-star Cassandre Prosper of Monteal, Canada, has announced she will enroll for the spring semester.

The spring semester begins January 17, making Prosper immediately eligible to compete for the Irish when the current semester ends. Prosper committed to the Irish on Nov. 12. She will be just the second early enrollee for the ND women, joining current sophomore guard Olivia Miles.

Third time's a charm! Olivia Miles sets Notre Dame women triple-double mark vs. Merrimack

Notes: Notre Dame's Muffet McGraw honored with Pat Summitt Award; Thursday game postponed

"I can't wait to start with my teammates and new coaches," Prosper said in an Instagram video. "I'm so blessed to be a part of this environment and community. I'm ready for this new chapter!"

Prosper is the No. 16 overall recruit per ESPN HoopGurlz recruiting rankings making her one of 24 five-star prospects in the nation.

At the 2022 Ontario Scholastic Basketball Association Final 8 championships last March, Prosper was named MVP after scoring 33 points to go with 15 rebounds and two assists. She was also the season's league MVP and earned academic honors as well.

At 6-foot-2, Prosper averaged 23.2 points a game, 13.2 rebounds and 2.6 assists over 10 contests last season. She shot 41.2 percent from the floor, including 10 3-pointers.

“We are thrilled about adding five-star guard and Canadian superstar Cassandre Prosper to our Notre Dame family,” Notre Dame head coach Niele Ivey said. “She is an explosive, dynamic guard with an incredible motor and skill set that is unmatched.  Her international experience, athleticism, and scorer’s mentality will be an immediate asset to our program.  Words can’t describe the excitement that I have for our future.”

The fifth-ranked Irish are 8-1 overall and begin Atlantic Coast Conference play on Sunday, Dec. 18, against No. 6-ranked Virgina Tech in Blacksburg, Va., at 4 p.m. (ACC Network, WQLQ 99.9 FM)

Lally Shields is Roosevelt Award winner

Former Notre Dame basketball player Dr. Carol Lally Shields, an ocular oncologist, has been named the recipient of the NCAA's 2023 Theodore Roosevelt Award, more affectionately known as the 'Teddy.'' Created in 1967, the award is presented annually to a distinguished person of national reputation and exceptional accomplishment,.'

“To be eligible, the recipient must have graduated from an NCAA member institution and earned a varsity athletics award, or participated in competitive intercollegiate athletics,” the NCAA website reads. “Furthermore, the awardee, by personal example and contributions to society, exemplifies the ideals to which collegiate athletics programs and amateur sports competition are dedicated.”

A member of Notre Dame's first women's basketball team, Dr. Lally Shields received an undergraduate degree in professional studies in 1979. A three-time captain, she led the Irish with 10.7 points a game her junior year and 12.8 her season season.

The Western Pennsylvania native was the first female student-athlete to receive the Byron V. Kanaley Award for excellence in academics and leadership, the highest honor given to Irish athletes. She subsequently received her medical degree from the University of Pittsburgh in 1983. 

Since becoming an oncologist, Dr. Lally Shields has authored or co-authored five textbooks and more than 700 medical articles. In 2004, she was the first woman to receive the Donders Medal, which is given every five years by the world-renowned Netherlands Ophthalmological Society. She is one of just a handful of doctors nationwide to focus on ocular tumors full-time.

Alongside her husband, Dr. Jerry Shields, Dr. Lally Shields currently heads up the Wills Eye Hospital in Philadelphia. The two specialists see around half of the nation’s children who are diagnosed with retinoblastoma each year and around one-third of the adults who are seeking treatment for ocular melanoma. She also serves as a consultant for the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania. 

Previous recipients of the "Teddy" include United States presidents, championship coaches and Olympians, among others. The first ever winner of the “Teddy” was former President Dwight Eisenhower in 1967. Dr. Lally Shields is the second winner from Notre Dame, as Alan Page was the 2004 recipient. The award will be presented Jan. 11 at the NCAA Honors Celebration.