Ali Patberg is leaving Notre Dame.

The 2015 Indiana Miss Basketball and McDonald’s All-American from Columbus North has decided to transfer after two injury- and illness-filled years with the Fighting Irish.

After tearing an ACL and redshirting as a freshman, Patberg played in 22 games this year, averaging 7.7 minutes a game for a team that went 33-4 and reached the Elite Eight in the NCAA Tournament. She twice missed parts of the season with an illness.

“She wants to be happy,” said her father, Ron Patberg. “She was extremely happy academically at Notre Dame, but she’s looking for that balance with basketball. It’s been an extremely tough couple of years with injuries, and she’s just ready for a fresh start.”

Ali Patberg carries a 3.6 GPA as a finance major. She has won the team’s top Academic award each of the past two years.

She plans to stay at Notre Dame through the spring semester before moving on to her new school.

“She’ll miss the school a lot, and she’ll miss her professors,” Ron Patberg said. “Obviously, there were a lot of things that were attractive for her to want to stay there. It hasn’t been a bad experience. She just wants to be in a better situation from an athletic standpoint and have a little bit more fun with the sport that she truly loves.”

Ron Patberg said coaches from Michigan, Indiana University, Florida, Michigan State and Xavier have contacted an intermediary, but cannot contact Ali yet since she doesn’t have her official release.

Butler has been a rumored destination if Ali Patberg had planned to transfer since she played for Butler assistant coach Damon Bailey and her father on travel teams for several years. But Ron Patberg said Bailey is leaving the Bulldogs because of his business commitments, and that is not a school she will likely consider.

“She wants to have a good relationship with the coaches and the players,” Ron Patberg said. “That’s going to be important to her. I think she really knows what she wants.”

Author photo
Ted Schultz is sports editor for The Republic. He can be reached at tschultz@therepublic.com or 812-379-5628.