Danielle Green-Byrd

Paul Steinbach Headshot

Q&A with Danielle Green-Byrd, a former Notre Dame basketball star who lost her left hand while serving in Iraq and is now an assistant sports coordinator for Chicago public schools.

Danielle Green-ByrdDanielle Green-Byrd Her left hand is gone, and with it her ability to play pickup basketball. But one could argue that Danielle Green-Byrd is more whole today than 11 years ago, when she arrived on the University of Notre Dame campus as an admittedly immature recruit out of inner-city Chicago. Playing for the Irish was one of two goals in life for Green-Byrd, now 29. The other was to serve in the U.S. military. The first saw the left-handed guard score 1,106 career points while earning a degree in psychology. The second saw her lose her dominant hand to a rocket-propelled grenade attack in Baghdad, Iraq. Today, Green-Byrd is fulfilling a new dream - giving something back to the same school system that gave her a start, as an assistant sports coordinator in the Chicago Board of Education's Department of Sports Administration and Facility Management. Paul Steinbach asked Green-Byrd to reflect on her life-altering experiences.

Q: How did you develop an interest in attending Notre Dame? A: I don't come from the healthiest of families. It's a little dysfunctional. I just knew that I didn't want to continue the cycle. I wanted to be different - somehow, some way. I had watched Notre Dame football on TV and thought, "There must be something special about this place." I went on my recruiting trip and felt if I didn't commit that weekend that they would give my spot to someone else. I didn't want to have any regrets in my life about not being able to fulfill my dream.

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