Mary Louis star Danielle Patterson commits to Notre Dame

By Laura Amato

Danielle Patterson was sitting on a plane, flying back from South Bend last weekend when, suddenly, it hit her.

She’d found the perfect place.

The Mary Louis Academy senior star—ranked the No. 30 prospect this season by ESPN—had just wrapped up her official visit at Notre Dame and it only took a few hours for Patterson to come to a decision. She cemented her Fighting Irish future on Wednesday afternoon, committing to Notre Dame and wrapping up a recruiting journey that saw Patterson receive over 100 scholarship offers.

“Everybody kept telling me, you’re going to feel it when you step on that right campus and I felt it,” Patterson said. “The coaching staff and the teammates and everything, it felt right. It was definitely the best decision for me academically, in the classroom and then on the basketball court.”

Patterson cut her list to four earlier this year—focusing on Notre Dame, UVA, Tennessee and St. John’s. She took visits to all four campuses, but as soon as she got to Notre Dame, Patterson knew she’d found the ideal fit. In the end, it was the trip to South Bend that swayed her—meeting with coaches and teammates, taking in a football game and even trying on uniforms.

“I just thought this was it, right here and now,” Patterson said. “I can tell Notre Dame was really big on tradition and I think that’s something that’s similar to Mary Louis. It felt like how I felt here.”
Of course, Patterson’s stats more than warranted the wave of top-tier college interest she’s received over the last two years. Last season the 6-foot-3 forward averaged a career-best 22 points per game in addition to eight rebounds and two steals per contest.

Patterson, however, is more than just her numbers and those closest to her know that her determination to be the best will lend itself to success at the next level.

“Dani’s a great person, young lady, beside being a phenomenal athlete,” said Mary Louis coach JoAnn Arbitello. “So with all that Notre Dame is definitely getting themselves a top young lady.”

Patterson was nervous ahead of announcing her decision—even bringing a typed-up speech into the Hilltoppers’ gym so she didn’t forget to thank anyone—but now that it’s official, the star is simply grateful for the road she’s found herself on. It hasn’t been easy and it won’t get any easier—she did commit to the preseason No. 1 this year, after all—but Patterson knows her hard work is paying off.

“All the AAU trips, the continual days of practice all the time, all of it. It’s so worth it,” she said. “I thank all my coaches and all my supporters and my trainers, everyone, just for all their constant support.”

Now, Patterson’s focus is on just one thing – bringing a title back to Mary Louis. She’s got one more season in blue and white before trading in her jersey for green and gold and Patterson isn’t going to waste a moment of it.

“Nothing less than a championship. That’s our goal,” Patterson said. “I wanted to go ahead and make my decision because I knew it felt it right and I knew we have a mission this year. I’m not going to be satisfied until we’re back in that championship game.”

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