Kathryn Westbeld (Kettering, Ohio/Fairmont) verbally committed to play for Notre Dame on Oct. 20. The nation’s No. 21 women’s basketball prospect in the class of 2014 according to ESPN HoopGurlz made the declaration via twitter (@K.Westbeld33).
Westbeld chose Notre Dame because of the Fighting Irish's academic reputation. She also considered Michigan State, Ohio State, Dayton, Xavier, Connecticut and Florida.
“The academics was a huge part of it,” Westbeld said of her decision. “Everyone there said it was a 40-year decision, not a four-year decision. That’s so true. And I really formed a great relationship with the team and coaches the few times I was there.”
Westbeld averaged 15.0 points and 9.1 rebounds a game as a junior and helped lead Fairmont High School to a state championship last season. She scored 13 points and had 12 rebounds as Fairmont knocked off two-time defending state champ Twinsburg in the championship game.
The 6-1 Westbeld is a highly skilled post-player who also has the ability to play the three and possibly the two. She possesses a high-basketball IQ and has range that extends beyond the three-point line. She also has a high-motor and attacks the glass vigorously.
Westbeld adds more muscle to Notre Dame’s 2014 recruiting class that already packed a solid punch. The Irish already had commitments Brianna Turner, the nation’s No. 2-ranked prospect, and Mychal Johnson, the nation’s No. 80 prospect according to HoopGurlz. Turner is a 6-3 forward from Manvel, Texas, and Johnson is a 5-8 point guard from Huntington, W. Va.