Natalie Achonwa

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Natalie Achonwa
Natalie Achonwa.jpg
Achonwa at the 2012 London Olympics
No. 11 – Indiana Fever
Position Forward
League WNBA
Personal information
Born (1992-11-22) November 22, 1992 (age 22)
Guelph, Ontario
Nationality Canadian
Listed height 192 cm (6 ft 4 in)
Listed weight 86 kg (190 lb)
Career information
High school St. Mary's Catholic
(Hamilton, Ontario)
College Notre Dame (2010–2014)
WNBA draft 2014 / Round: 1 / Pick: 9th overall
Selected by the Indiana Fever
Pro career 2015–present
Career history
2015–present Indiana Fever
Career highlights and awards
Stats at

Natalie Achonwa (born November 22, 1992) is a Canadian basketball player for the Indiana Fever in the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA). She attended university at, and played on the Notre Dame Fighting Irish women's basketball team.[1] Natalie was born in Guelph, Ontario[2] and is 192 centimetres (6 ft 3 12 in) tall.[3]

High School[edit]

Achonwa attended Centennial Collegiate and Vocational Institute in Guelph, Ontario for grade 9 before moving to Hamilton, Ontario to play with Canada Basketball's NEDA program at St. Mary's Catholic Secondary School.[2]


Achonwa was recruited as the first ever international player on the Notre Dame Fighting Irish women's basketball team.[4]

In 2011, Achonwa was named to the BIG EAST All-Freshman Team along with being selected BIG EAST Freshman of the Week in her freshman season.[2] In 2012, She was named to the NCAA Raleigh Regional All-Tournament Team.[2] In her Junior season, She was named as an Honorable Mention for the Associated Press All-America Team. Since her freshman season, she and her team have had four Final Four appearances and three National Championship appearances.[2]

In what ended up being her final home game, the six-foot-three forward suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament with about five minutes left in Notre Dame's 19-point victory over Baylor on March 31, 2014. This win helped push the Irish into the NCAA Final Four.

In 2015, Achonwa was selected as the Notre Dame Representative in the 2015 Atlantic Coast Conference Women's Legends Class.[citation needed]

International career[edit]

Achonwa became a member of the Canadian national team in 2009. She competed in the 2012 Summer Olympics as well as the 2010 FIBA World Championship for Women.

She was invited to join the national team, to play in the 2013 FIBA Americas Championship for Women, held in Xalapa, Mexico from 21–28 September 2013. She averaged 7.5 points per game, and helped the Canadian National team to a second place, silver medal finish. Canada faced Cuba in a preliminary round and won 53–40, but in the championship game, Cuba prevailed 79–71.[5][6]

She missed the 2014 FIBA World Championship for Women due to injury.

Pam Am games 2015[edit]

Achonwa was a member of the Canada women's national basketball team which participated in basketball at the 2015 Pan American Games held in Toronto, Canada July 10 to 26, 2015. Canada opened the preliminary rounds with an easy 101–38 win over Venezuela. The following day they beat Argentina 73–58. The final preliminary game was against Cuba; both teams were 2–0, so the winner would win the group. The game went down to the wire with Canada eking out a 71–68 win.[7] Canada would face Brazil in the semifinal.

Canada opened the game with an 11–2 run on seven consecutive points by Miranda Ayim. Miah-Marie Langlois contributed five assists. In the third quarter Canada strongly out rebounded Brazil and hit 69% of their field goals to score 33 points in the quarter. Lizanne Murphy and Nirra Fields hit three-pointers to help extend the lead to 68–39 at the end of three quarters. Canada continued to dominate in the fourth quarter with three-pointers by Kia Nurse and Kim Gaucher. Canada went on to win the game 91–63 to earn a spot in the gold-medal game against the USA.[8]

The gold-medal game matched up the host team Canada against USA, in a sold out arena dominated by fans in red and white and waving the Canadian flag. The Canadian team, arm in arm, sang Oh Canada as the respective national anthems were played.

After trading baskets early the US edged out to a double-digit lead in the second quarter. However the Canadians, spurred on by the home crowd cheering, fought back and tied up the game at halftime. In the third quarter, it was Canada's time to shine as they outscore the US 26–15. The lead would reach as high as 18 points. The USA would fight back, but not all the way and Canada won the game and the gold-medal 81–73. It was Canada's first gold-medal in basketball in the Pan Am games. Nurse was the star for Canada with 33 points, hitting 11 of her 12 free-throw attempts in 10 of her 17 field-goal attempts including two of three three-pointers. Achonwa contributed two rebounds and 13 points.[9][10][11][12]

Professional career[edit]

Indiana Fever[edit]

On April 14, 2014, Achonwa was drafted ninth overall by the Indiana Fever basketball club. She sat out the entire 2014 WNBA season, thanks to the injury she suffered during the NCAA playoffs. In the fall of 2014, while continuing her rehab, Achonwa took a job as the interim Director of Operations for the Notre Dame women's basketball program. She was filling in for the incumbent Katie Schwab, who was hospitalized with a life-threatening illness.

Achonwa did not sign a professional contract with the Fever until April 2015. She plans to play in the summer of 2015, beginning with the Fever's training camp in May.[13][14]

University of Notre Dame statistics[edit]


  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game
 FG%  Field goal percentage  3P%  3-point field goal percentage  FT%  Free throw percentage
 RPG  Rebounds per game  APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game
 BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game  Bold  Career high
2010-11 Notre Dame  39 0 18.3 0.566 0.500 0.571 5.3 1.1 0.8 0.4 6.9
2011-12 Notre Dame  36 1 17.2 0.520 0.300 0.720 4.4 1.4 0.7 0.8 7.6
2012-13 Notre Dame  37 37 27.1 0.520 0.000 0.800 9.5 2.3 1.1 0.9 13.8
2013-14 Notre Dame  33 33 25.4 0.611 0.000 0.709 7.7 2.8 1.0 1.2 14.9
Total Notre Dame  145 71 21.9 0.562 0.357 0.723 6.7 1.9 0.9 0.8 10.7


  1. ^ "Women's Basketball". Retrieved July 30, 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c d e "Natalie Achonwa". Retrieved 7 August 2012. 
  3. ^ "Natalie Achonwa". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 24 July 2015. 
  4. ^ Brady, Rachel. "Canadian Natalie Achonwa making basketball history at Notre Dame". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 20 March 2014. 
  5. ^ "11 - Natalie Achonwa". FIBA. Retrieved 29 June 2015. 
  6. ^ "Full Schedule". FIBA. Retrieved 6 Oct 2014. 
  7. ^ "2015 Women's Pan American Games Schedule". USA Basketball. Retrieved 23 Jul 2015. 
  9. ^ "U.S. Women Collect Silver At Pan American Games After Falling To Host Canada 81-73". USA Basketball. Jul 20, 2015. Retrieved 23 Jul 2015. 
  10. ^ "U.S. Women Collect Silver At Pan American Games After Falling To Host Canada 81-73". USA Basketball. Jul 20, 2015. Retrieved 23 Jul 2015. 
  11. ^ Caple, Jim. "Battle of UConn Hoops Stars Goes To Canada in Pan Am Final". ESPN. Retrieved 23 Jul 2015. 
  12. ^ Smith, Doug (Jul 20, 2015). "Canada wins historic Pan Am women’s basketball gold". Toronto Star. Retrieved 23 Jul 2015. 
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^ "Natalie Achona bio" (PDF). Canada Basketball. Retrieved 3 Jul 2015. 

External links[edit]