COLUMBIA, S.C. - Former Women's Basketball National Champions South Carolina and Notre Dame will make history on Mon., Nov. 6, 2023, when the two launch the 2023-24 NCAA basketball season in Paris. It will mark the first time an NCAA regular-season basketball game has been played on Parisian soil.
The Gamecocks are coached by Dawn Staley, the four-time Olympic Gold Medalist (three as a player, one as coach) and three-time Naismith Coach of the Year. The Fighting Irish are coached by Niele Ivey, the 2023 ACC Coach of the Year. Ivey, one of the greatest point guards in Notre Dame history, led the Irish to the NCAA title in 2001. The two renowned coaches are proud to bring their teams to France.
"We did not hesitate to accept the invitation" said Staley. "Playing Notre Dame in Paris is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for our student-athletes, and I'm thankful for the support of our administration and our donors."
"It's always been my mission to break barriers and provide opportunities for my players to have life-changing experiences," said Ivey. "Women's basketball is on the rise, and having this exposure will help to grow the game on an international level."
In the City of Light, fans will see two teams that have already been declared pre-season Top 10. South Carolina had three players selected in the top 10 picks 2023 WNBA Draft, including overall No. 1 Aliyah Boston, but a new era begins with SEC All-Freshman guard Raven Johnson and 2023 SEC Sixth Woman of the Year Kamilla Cardoso, plus three top-25 signees from the Class of 2023, headlined by local Columbia, SC, point guard Milaysia Fulwiley.
Coach Ivey has a strong core of players again this year, led by All-American guard Olivia Miles, who is always a threat to turn a triple-double. Miles is joined by 6-1 rebounding guard Sonia Citron and 6-3 forward Maddy Westbeld, who were members of the 2023 All-ACC First and Second Teams, respectively. Ivey will also add two five-star recruits this summer, including Hannah Hidalgo out of Haddonfield, N.J. She already had top-20 2023 guard Cassandre Prosper on her roster this winter as an early enrollee.
In addition to participating in this historic game, the teams and their fans will be able to enjoy all that Paris has to offer from visiting historical monuments like the Notre Dame Cathedral on the Ile de la Cite in the 4th arrondissement to the high-end fashion houses like the Louis Vuitton Global Headquarters on the Champs-Elysees.
The unprecedented match-up was created by Complete Sports Management, founded by Lea Miller-Tooley, who has created experiences for college teams by taking them all over the world for more than a decade.
"We are honored to partner with two of the most respected and dominant teams in women's college basketball," said Miller-Tooley, "while showcasing one of the most iconic cities in the world. This historic game will set a new standard."
Game ticket packages and venue will be confirmed at a later date this spring, along with the television partner.