St. Louisan Niele Ivey’s basketball career has been remarkable, to say the least.
The former Cor Jesu Academy and Notre Dame star will be fitted for another national championship ring, this time as associate head coach of the Fighting Irish.
Ivey led her Cor Jesu team to a 31-0 record and the school’s first Class 4A State Championship for Gary Glasscock during her junior year in 1995. As a senior at Notre Dame, she averaged 12 points a game as the starting point guard on a team that won the national championship right here in her home town.
Ivey was a second round pick of the WNBA’s Indiana Fever and the former All-American point guard played a total of five seasons with the Fever (2001-04), the Detroit Shock and the Phoenix Mercury (2005).
Niele Ivey is now one of the rising stars in college coaching. In her role as associate head coach, Ivey has propelled the Fighting Irish to six Final Fours in the last eight years, including last weekend’s national championship.
In March of 2016, Ivey was named the inaugural recipient of the Women's Basketball Association (WBCA) Division I National Assistant Coach of the Year. During her introduction ceremony in 2016, Niele gives all the credit to head coach Muffitt McGraw.
"I couldn't even be considered if not for the opportunity given to me by my boss and mentor,” Ivey said. “Coach McGraw. I am so grateful to her for teaching me the game, believing in me and giving me the opportunity to coach at Notre Dame. I feel truly blessed and so appreciative for all the support from my family, friends, and all the players I've worked with."
Known as one of the top recruiters and player development coaches in the country, Ivey has helped mentor and develop WNBA first round picks Skylar Diggins, Jewell Loyd, and Notre Dame greats Lindsay Allen, Erin Boley, and Jackie Young.
It was Ivey last weekend in Columbus, Ohio who helped set the tone with her scouting game plan against Mississippi State that helped coach McGraw and the Lady Fighting Irish to capture another national championship.
Young female coaches across the country should take a long look at the success of African American female coaches who are doing quite well.
Ivey, along with Mississippi State assistant coach Dionnah Jackson-Durrett (a former Parkway West standout) and Penn State University head coach Coquese Washington are all doing well at the collegiate level giving hope that diversity will grow among black female coaches in the near future.
As for Niele Ivey, St. Louis should be very proud of her continued success at Notre Dame.
In addition, diversity continues to grow among minority coaches in collegiate sports. Niele Ivey’s success at Notre Dame should land her a head coaching job in the near future.
However, only time will tell....
● The prestigious Jackie Joyner Kersee / Al Joyner Classic will be held Saturday morning at Clyde C. Jordan Memorial Stadium in East St. Louis.
Elementary starts at 9 a.m. with the high school preliminaries starting at 9:30 a.m.
Missouri powers Hazelwood Central, McCluer South-Berkley, will be on display a long with Illinois powers Chicago Morgan Park, Chicago De La Salle, Springfield Southeast, Proviso East, Proviso West, Thornton Factional North, and Rockford East. In addition, Indiana power Gary West Side will be in the house. A total of 40 teams will compete in this year's Classic.
Tickets are $5 for the day.