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Notre Dame Basketball

Notre Dame Adds "Beautiful Basketball Player" In JJ Starling

October 12, 2021

After four straight seasons without an NCAA Tournament appearance and losing records in two of the last three, Mike Brey and the Notre Dame basketball program were in need of a win.

They scored a major victory with elite 2022 guard JJ Starling‍, who announced his commitment to the Irish on Tuesday evening.

“He fits,” one source says. “He's the perfect fit on and off the court. He's a high-level basketball player, but he's a great person and a great student.

“He's going to be a McDonald's All-American.”

His AAU coach has said he has “an NBA jumpshot” and this source agrees.

“He's a smooth-scoring, beautiful basketball player,” the source continues. “It's poetry in motion, very gifted. There's nothing he cannot do on the offensive end. He's an infectious teammate, great leader and can score in bunches.”

Starling, a New York native who plays at nearby La Lumiere School, is definitely the highest-ranked prospect Notre Dame has landed since Demetris Jackson in the Class of 2023.

“Demetris, Jerian Grant, he's in that level,” the source says. “The backcourt of Demetris and Jerian was Pat Connaughton was special. The future of Notre Dame's backcourt is taking shape.”

The Irish are certainly focused on their immediate future, the 2021-22 season, but it’s tempting to imagine what the future after that will look like, especially with Starling and 2021 signee Blake Wesley in the backcourt.

“You line them two up and say, 'Come on, who you got?'” the source says.

The source says the program feels very good about adding Starling and his family to the program.

“He checks a lot of boxes.”

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