Thursday, June 13, 2024
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The Motivation Behind a Notre Dame Champion: ‘A True Passion’

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Niele Ivey frequently reflects on old photographs of herself celebrating as the 2001 national champion. She remembers orchestrating Notre Dame’s comeback, despite playing with a twisted ankle, and the sheer joy radiating from her body in those moments. However, when she looks at those photos now, her focus is on her brother Philippe. In the pictures, she spots him immediately, wearing an Irish shirt and surrounded by their other siblings and parents. These photos were taken just seven months before Niele and her mother had to identify Philippe’s body at a hospital in St. Louis. The memory of that horrific moment has stayed with Niele, overshadowing the triumph of winning a national title. Niele cherishes another memory of her brother, one of a time when the whole family was together, and everything made sense. Philippe’s presence in her life continues to bring her back to that moment of pure happiness, rather than the basketball accolades she achieved.

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