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Natalie Novosel Spends a Weekend at Notre Dame

Feb 26, 2013, 10:21 AM EDT

Former Irish teammates Natalie Novosel and Kaila Turner in the team office.

Former Notre Dame guard Natalie Novosel returned to campus earlier this month, where she was able to see and catch up with all of her old teammates and friends.

“I’m excited that I got to come back up here and see everyone. I know that tournament time is about to start for them, and I am excited to see them play. They’re going to be great. They have exceeded expectations this year already,” Novosel said. “They have the same goals and the same passion in their eyes that we had, and I can see that in just this first practice that I was at, so I’m looking forward to see how far they will go in the tournament this year.”

Natalie began as a very strong player at Notre Dame, and she continued to grow as a successful player as she honed her skills during her career here. I remember watching her at the start of my freshman year at Notre Dame (her second year of play) all the way through until the end of her Irish career, and she never ceased to amaze on the court. All of her hard work and determination truly paid off when Natalie was drafted to the WNBA in 2012 as the eighth pick overall behind Devereaux Peters, who was drafted as the third overall pick, making this the first time ever that Notre Dame had two players go as top-ten picks in the WNBA draft in program history. Novosel was drafted to the Washington Mystics in 2012, and she is currently training with that same team.


Novosel at the 2012 WNBA Draft (Photo by Brian Babineau/NBAE/Getty Images)

Natalie also spent a brief time playing in Romania before she returned to the Washington Mystics. She signed with a team, Targoviste, but the team unfortunately fell through, and she does not intend to go back abroad.

“I had an opportunity to go play overseas in Romania, and that team folded. I chose to not go back overseas, though, so that I could take some time off and get ready for the WNBA. We are working with some new coaching and a new attitude on the team, so I really wanted to hone in on my skills and take these next four months to really get better.”

With her exciting future ahead as a professional basketball player, Natalie took some time to reflect on Notre Dame and the good old days of her college career. “I really miss the people at Notre Dame, so when I first came back, there were like fifteen-million people that I wanted to see. I’m not going to lie…I lived in the basketball atmosphere here, so I really miss the fans and having games sold out every game. It’s not like that in the WNBA. I miss that a lot. The fans are just so loyal, and I love that.”

Natalie also misses her old teammates, so to all the current Notre Dame women’s basketball players, she left this piece of advice: “Stay focused, and keep that going in your mind. I know that it’s a long, grueling season. You’re doing all the little things right to get to the end goal. And I think right now that the team is young, so you just have to keep pushing through adversity, especially since those younger players have never played through such a long season and with all of the physicality of it.”

Keep up the great work, ladies! And good luck with the tournament season! As Natalie Novosel has learned, “Hard work pays off.”

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