CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Former William Monroe basketball star Sam Brunelle was at John Paul Jones as UVA women’s basketball hosted Notre Dame.
Sam Brunelle has proven she can compete at an elite level. In 2018 alone she was a McDonald’s All American, USA Today Virginia Player of the Year, and led her high school team to its first regional championship since 1987.
“You really see what kind of level it is once you start playing the game at this level it’s been a year of learning and making mistakes and being successful and maybe making a few more mistakes," says Brunelle.
The 6’2 forward led the Irish with 21 points in the game against Virginia Sunday, January 26. Head coach of Notre Dame women’s basketball, Muffet McGraw, says she was never phased by the hometown heat.
“I worry when kids go home they have a tendency to not play as well as they could because they feel pressure, but I thought she played well,” says McGraw.
Brunelle was also able to show her Irish family where she grew up 15 minutes down the road in Ruckersville, Virginia.
“For them to be able to come back to my hometown and see where I’m from and see this is why I am the way I am. It was just great to have everybody with my family,” says Brunelle.
“It’s a great experience for the whole team to see something they’ve never seen before," says McGraw.
After recording her third straight double-digit scoring effort and 15th on the year, Brunelle continues to excel on and off the court.
“She is an amazing person. I think she’s one of the best shooters in the game. I think she’s one of the best shooters in the country," says McGraw.
“We’re still finding our way, but we are working hard and we’re trying to learn and improve and grow each and every single day,” says Brunelle.