Notre Dame announces first annual Citi Shamrock Classic in St. Louis, featuring head coaches from the city
Notre Dame will hold the first annual Citi Shamrock Classic in St. Louis on Nov. 12 with a matchup against the California Golden Bears. The game features a homecoming of the head coaches. Notre Dame’s Niele Ivey and Cal’s Charmin Smith grew up in St. Louis.
From the Notre Dame release:
Held in St. Louis at the Enterprise Center, the Citi Shamrock Classic will see the Fighting Irish, who made the 2022 Sweet Sixteen under Karen & Kevin Keyes Family head coach Niele Ivey, face off against the California Golden Bears, led by Coach Charmin Smith. The showdown will mark the first live broadcast of a women’s college basketball game on NBC and Peacock.
The game is a homecoming for both head coaches, as they both grew up in St. Louis. As a junior, Ivey led Cor Jesu Academy to its first state title before going on to play for Notre Dame and winning the 2001 National Championship in St. Louis. Cal’s Smith dominated the hardwood at Ladue Horton Watkins before appearing in three consecutive Final Fours with the Stanford Cardinal.
“I would like to thank Citi for the opportunity to showcase our women’s basketball program on this major stage in the inaugural Citi Shamrock Classic,” Ivey said. “This is a full circle moment to come back home to St. Louis where my basketball journey began. It’s an overwhelming feeling to think about the positive impact this will have in my community and for our sport. I hope to continue to inspire and empower the next generation of young leaders and athletes.”
“We look forward to presenting the inaugural Citi Shamrock Classic and showcasing to a national audience on NBC and Peacock Notre Dame’s storied women’s basketball program in their game against Cal,” said Gary Quinn, Vice President, Programming, NBC Sports.
Notre Dame is coming off of a 24-9 season in 2021-22 and is ranked No. 9 in the the latest version of ESPN’s 2022-23 Way-Too-Early Top 25. The Irish return four of last season’s top-five scorers, including leader Olivia Miles (13.7 points per game) and three-point specialist Dara Mabrey, who had a 36.9 percent success rate from behind the arc.
Cal is coming off of an 11-13 season but is hoping to rebound under veteran leadership from Smith, who has been with the program in some capacity since 2007. She took over as the head coach in 2019. Cal’s Jayda Curry, who earned 2021-22 Pac-12 Freshman of the Year honors, returns this winter after averaging 18.6 points per game last year.
“A huge thank you to Citibank and NBC for leading the way and highlighting the representation of women in sport and business through the Citi Shamrock Classic,” Coach Smith said. “Personally, this is a special opportunity for me, as this is my first time competing in St. Louis as a player or coach since I left for college nearly 30 years ago. My club days in St. Louis are some of my fondest basketball memories, and it will be great to experience this return with Niele. I’m so happy for her success as a player at Notre Dame and now as the head coach. This is where it all started for both of us, and it’s an honor to have Cal participate in the inaugural year of the classic.”
Game tickets for the Citi Shamrock Classic will go on sale to the general public on Friday, September 23.