A Notre Dame Fighting Irish basketball player suffered a serious knee injury on Sunday. The incident happened when the team took on the Virginia Cavaliers and guard Dara Mabrey stole the ball from a Virginia player and raced down the floor in a one-on-one situation. As she was going for a layup, Mabrey was fouled and went down holding her right knee. She was on the ground for several minutes before she was helped off the court. Mabrey was ruled out for the rest of the game and underwent further evaluation on Monday.
"It was a little bit emotional for us, and I'm very proud of the way we responded," Notre Dame head coach Niele Ivey said after the game, per the team's official website. "I'm proud of our grit, our poise." The team won the game 76-54 and improved its record to 16-2 for the year. But the players had Mabrey on their minds.
"I wanted to cry for her, man," Olivia Miles said, per Sports Illustrated. "She's just such the heart and soul of our team, the leader. I hope she's going to be ok and she can return quickly. But we're praying for her. We prayed for her on the court. It was tough but we did this for her."
Mabrey began her college career at Virginia Tech before transferring to Norte Dame in 2020. She recently hit 300 three-pointers in her career and nearly half came while playing with the Fighting Irish. She was named Naismith National Player of the Week on Jan. 17, 2022, after averaging 23.0 points and hitting nine three-pointers in back-to-back wins over Wake Forest and North Carolina.
Many of the team's followers showed support for Mabrey. One reporter wrote: "Watching Dara Mabrey need help to leave the court was about as surreal as it gets. There's been no more durable player in college basketball, men's or women's, over the last 5 years. Her teams (between Va. Tech [and] ND) have played 135 games in that time. She's started all 135."
"My prayers go out to [Dara Mabrey]," another person said. "She plays the game with so much passion and it was hard to see her go down like that."