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What Niele Ivey said about retaining Hannah Hidalgo on Notre Dame roster

IMG_9992by:Tyler Horka05/20/24


Niele Ivey didn’t full-on admit there was a non-zero chance Hannah Hidalgo would play her sophomore season and beyond somewhere other than Notre Dame. But she left the door open for retroactive speculation.

“Roster retention is real, so I think that was a big part right after the season,” Ivey said on SiriusXM College last week. “You never know. You never know the conversations.”

Conversations, tampering. In this case, same thing.

The reality is student-athletes are being sought after by other institutions around the clock in the transfer portal era. And the better you are, the more attention you’ll receive.

Hidalgo was one of the best players in NCAA women’s basketball last season, averaging 22.6 points, 6.2 rebounds, 5.5 assists and 4.6 steals per game for Notre Dame on her way to becoming one of five true freshmen to ever be named a First Team Associated Press All-American.

Naturally, she was rumored to be in the transfer market. Ivey wasn’t surprised.

“It’s part of it, to be honest,” Ivey said. “It’s definitely something that I feel — especially with a high-caliber player like that — I know it’s part of it. You got to get over those couple weeks and then when you really realize what your roster is going to look like and you know that you have a team that is committed and loyal — and that’s what she is, and I’m really grateful for that — but it goes back to our relationship and I’m grateful for her.”

Hidalgo shut down the transfer rumors on April 11. She shared a social media video of her and Ivey smiling holding peace signs in the air with the caption, “I’m not in the transfer portal y’all.”

A source close to Hidalgo told Blue & Gold she never even thought about leaving the program. She didn’t put out any cryptic messages between the end of Notre Dame’s season on March 29 and her emphatic shutdown on April 11, which lines up with that remark.

In that two-week span, she simply got in the gym and started preparing for year two at Notre Dame.

“She’s a very humble star,” Ivey said. “She’s very humble. We have an incredible relationship. I relied on my relationship with her and I feel like what she’s looking for is still aligned with what Notre Dame has. She’s a Notre Dame kid, and I’m just grateful that I get a chance to coach her.”

For three more years. She’s not going anywhere.

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