There were a couple of major developments in the St. Louis basketball community over the course of this week.
First, former Cor Jesu Academy girls basketball star Niele Ivey has accepted a job as an assistant coach with the Memphis Grizzlies of the National Basketball Association. Ivey has spent the past 12 years as an assistant coach at Notre Dame, where she was a star collegiate player from 1997-2001.
Ivey was promoted to Associate head coach at Notre Dame by head coach Muffet McGraw in 2015 and she helped the Fighting Irish continue as one of the dominant programs in women’s college basketball. Ivey will be joining the staff of new Grizzlies coach Taylor Jenkins, thus becoming the ninth woman assistant coach in the NBA.
“It really speaks to Niele’s expertise that, out of all the coaches in the country, she was chosen for this position,” McGraw said. “The NBA is setting an excellent precedent of hiring and promoting women.”
As a player and a coach, Ivey has been a winner and prime-time performer at every level. As a high school junior, she led Cor Jesu Academy to a Class 4 state championship and an undefeated record in 1995. She experienced championship success again as a senior at Notre Dame in 2001 when she was the starting point guard and a leader on the Fighting Irish’ national championship team. Making the event even more special was that the Final Four of the NCAA Tournament was in her hometown in St. Louis. Ivey spent the next five years in the WNBA where she played with the Indiana Fever, the Detroit Shock and the Phoenix Mercury basketball teams.
During her 12 seasons at Notre Dame with McGraw, the Irish posted a record of 386-55 with 14 conference championships, six NCAA title game appearances and a national championship in 2018.
Cam'Ron Fletcher commits to UK
Vashon High basketball standout Cam’Ron Fletcher gave a verbal commitment to the University of Kentucky. The 6’6” Fletcher selected Kentucky over North Carolina, Missouri Michigan State and Alabama. He made his announcement on his Twitter account over the weekend.
A high-flying athlete, Fletcher is ranked among the top 50 players in the nation in the Class of 2020 by several national recruiting outlets. He is ranked No. 37 by Rivals.com, No. 34 by Prep Hoops and No. 45 in the ESPN National 100 rankings.
As a junior, Fletcher averaged 17 points a game as he helped lead the Wolverines to the Class 3 state championship in 2019. He spent the summer playing for Brad Beal Elite 17U team in the Nike EYBL, which is the top grassroots basketball circuit in the country. He also participated in the National Basketball Players Association Top 100 camp in Norfolk, Virginia, where he was one of the top players in the camp.
Fletcher becomes the first player from the St. Louis area to commit to Kentucky in the past decade. The last player from St. Louis to suit up for the Big Blue was former St. Charles High standout Josh Harrellson, who was the starting center on the Wildcats’ NCAA Final Four team in 2012.
Caleb Love narrows list to six
CBC standout basketball player Caleb Love recently narrowed his recruiting list to six schools last week. The 6’3” Love’s final six schools are North Carolina, Kansas, Louisville, Missouri, Arizona and Indiana. Love is spending this week in Los Angeles as the Nike Skills Academy, which will run until Saturday.