Young to forego senior season at Notre Dame

Photo by Robert Franklin/South Bend Tribune

Notre Dame’s Jackie Young sits next to teammate Marina Mabrey inside the team locker room following Notre Dame’s 82-81 loss to Baylor in the NCAA women's basketball National Championship game on Sunday, April 7, 2019, at Amalie Arena in Tampa, Fla.

SOUTH BEND -- Playing in the Women’s NCAA National Championship game Sunday night, Princeton grad and Notre Dame junior Jackie Young had just 24 hours to make her decision to remain in South Bend or throw her name into Wednesday night’s WNBA Draft.

Monday evening, less than 24 hours after the Irish lost a heartbreaking 82-81 decision to Baylor, Young made her decision on Twitter.

“After much consideration, I would like to announce that I will be following my heart and living out my childhood dream of playing in the WNBA,” Young’s Twitter statement read. “I have waited for this day all of my life and I can’t wait to continue this journey.”

Young joins the rest of the Notre Dame starting lineup in the draft as seniors Arike Ogunbowale, Jessica Shepard, Brianna Turner and Marina Mabrey -- all who are expected to be drafted Wednesday night.

In the latest ESPN Mock Draft, Young is projected as the No. 2 overall pick behind Louisville’s Asia Durr.

Ogunbowale is projected to be selected 6th overall, while Shepard being selected ninth.

Turner is slotted to go in the second round at 14th while Mabrey is projected as the 27th selection -- third round.

Young could not be reached for comment as of press deadline Monday night, but mother Linda weighed in on her daughter’s decision.

“I have not talked to Jackie about it yet, but if this is what she wants then I am happy for her,” Linda Young told the Clarion Monday night. “It’s been a crazy 24 hours, but I am not surprised by her decision.”

Linda Young also stated she fully expects Jackie to eventually complete her degree at Notre Dame in Management Consultation.

Young averaged 14.3 points, 7.0 rebounds and a team-best 5.2 assists this season for the Irish.

In her three seasons in South Bend, the pride of Princeton played in 109 games -- 74 starts -- and scored 1,351 points.

Young turns 22 on September 22 which makes her eligible for early entry into the draft. She is the only underclassman in the draft as Oregon’s Sabrina Ionescu, on Monday, decided she would be returning for her senior season.

Young was a named a Associated Press All-American as a member on the AP Third Team and was named the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament Most Valuable Player last month.

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