OVERVIEW: Achonwa, or "Ace" to her teammates, is the first international player to suit up for Notre Dame in the program's 35-year history. Achonwa is an exceptionally-talented post player who has developed a balanced skill set that allows her to work well on the block or away from the basket. She also has a solid face-up game, including good perimeter shooting ability. Natalie takes up space at both ends of the court with her mobility and 75-inch (6-foot-3) wingspan. She runs the floor well which will make her a threat in the Irish transition game. For the past two years, Ace has been a member of the Canadian Senior National Team, competing well for Canada at the 2010 FIBA World Championships in the Czech Republic, while matching up with such global women's basketball stars as three-time WNBA MVP Lauren Jackson (Australia) and 2010 WNBA Rookie of the Year Tina Charles (United States). In her first season playing for the Fighting Irish, Achonwa developed into a reliable threat on the blocks, earning the important "next man in" role behind forwards Becca Bruszewski and Devereaux Peters and putting her in position to compete for a place in the starting lineup in 2011-12.
FRESHMAN SEASON (2010-11): Averaged 6.9 ppg., and 5.3 rpg., with .566 field goal percentage (would have been fourth in BIG EAST, second among freshmen but needed to make five more baskets to qualify for minimum ranking of 3.0 FGM/game) ... (read more)
HIGH SCHOOL: Graduated from St. Mary's Catholic Secondary School in Hamilton, Ontario, but did not play her senior season due to her previous participation with the National Elite Development Academy (NEDA); NEDA was a national training center program that brought together the top 12 female developmental athletes from across Canada to train, live and attend high school in a central location (was hosted jointly by the city of Hamilton and McMaster University, and overseen by Canada Basketball) ... (read more)
AWARDS/HONORS: Third-team all-star at 2009 FIBA U19 World Championships ... 2007 Laurentian University Invitational all-tournament team ... MVP of Canadian provincial championship tournaments in 2006 (U15) and 2008 (U17), and first-team all-star in 2007 (U17) ... (read more)
INTERNATIONAL COMPETITION: Four-time Canada Basketball selection and two-time international medalist ... youngest player ever selected for Canadian Senior National Team, making her debut in September 2009 at age 16 ... suited up for Team Canada at 2010 FIBA World Championships in Czech Republic (Canada finished 12th) ... (read more)
PERSONAL DATA: Born Nov. 22, 1992, in Toronto, Ontario ... last name is pronounced uh-CHAWN-wuh ... hometown is pronounced GWELF ... daughter of Marion and Manny Achonwa ... middle of three children ... older brother, Adrian, is entering his junior season on the basketball team at the University of Guelph (Ontario) ... (read more)