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Sports >  NCAA basketball

Gonzaga women receive commitments from two high school prospects

Oct. 4, 2022 Updated Tue., Oct. 4, 2022 at 9:03 p.m.

Gonzaga Coach Lisa Fortier wears a look of concern as her team heads to the final minutes of their game against San Diego with only a four-point lead Saturday, Jan. 15, 2022 in a WCC conference game between the San Diego Toreros and Gonzaga. The Gonzaga women beat San Diego 76-66.  (JESSE TINSLEY/THE SPOKESMAN-REVIEW)
Gonzaga Coach Lisa Fortier wears a look of concern as her team heads to the final minutes of their game against San Diego with only a four-point lead Saturday, Jan. 15, 2022 in a WCC conference game between the San Diego Toreros and Gonzaga. The Gonzaga women beat San Diego 76-66. (JESSE TINSLEY/THE SPOKESMAN-REVIEW)
By Jim Allen For The Spokesman-Review For The Spokesman-Review

Gonzaga women’s basketball has received recent commitments from two high school seniors, among them a 6-foot-3 center from Minnesota whose parents are both GU alums.

“Gonzaga has always been my dream school,” Ella Hopkins told her hometown newspaper, the Rochester Post-Bulletin, last week after announcing her commitment to the Zags.

Hopkins averaged 14 points and seven rebounds last year for Lourdes High School, which finished 21-9 and reached the Class AA state tournament.

Hopkins said she was offered last week as a preferred walk-on, hoping to eventually earning a scholarship.

It follows a trend in the Hopkins household. Older brother Jaxon goes there now and their parents, Matt and Kari, both graduated from Gonzaga. Ella Hopkins also had an aunt go to school there.

Hopkins intends to study medicine at Gonzaga

“I’d always heard from my parents about how good a school it is and how high their academics are,” Hopkins said. “I wanted to go to a school that had great academics and I could play basketball.

“Gonzaga liked my versatility as a player and told me that I have a lot of potential with my height and everything. I’m ready to improve. I like to work hard.”

Earlier last week, GU got an oral commitment from Claire O’Connor, a 6-1 shooting guard/wing from Lakeside High School in Seattle.

O’Connor’s statistics from last year are unavailable. During the recruiting process, however, she drew interest from Kentucky, Duke, Georgetown, Vanderbilt, Marquette and Wake Forest.

According to recruiting site, ProspectsNation.com, O’Connor “is a lefty with good bounce, making the midrange game a real weapon for the opposing defenses.”

The early signing period for Division 1 basketball ends Nov. 9 and the regular period concludes on April 12.

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