Dominick Campbell of Scarborough received scholarship offers from basketball programs in all five of the major NCAA conferences before deciding on Notre Dame. Ben McCanna/Staff Photographer

Notre Dame’s golden allure and athletic history are “definitely really cool,” said Dominick Campbell, but that’s not why the 6-foot-9 power forward intends to play for the Fighting Irish.

“Really it was the coaching system and the fit of how they see me playing in their system and the opportunity I’ll have to come play and contribute as a freshman,” said Campbell, who lives in Scarborough.

Campbell, who will be a senior this fall at Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire, announced on Twitter Wednesday night that he will accept a scholarship offer from Notre Dame. He becomes the first Class of 2022 recruit to commit to Mike Brey, Notre Dame’s head coach since 2000.

Campbell has high aspirations – for himself and for Notre Dame, a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference. Campbell said he wants to be the ACC Rookie of the Year and help lead the Irish to their first men’s national championship. Notre Dame’s last trip to the NCAA tournament was 2017, which was its ninth appearance in 11 seasons.

As for being the top newcomer in the ACC, Campbell said, “It might sound like an out-of-reach goal but I think I’m capable of doing anything and I think with the right people around me at Notre Dame, with the coaching staff and athletic trainers and great teammates, I feel I have the opportunity to accomplish anything at Notre Dame.”

Campbell, who grew up in Raymond and played at Waynflete School before transferring to Phillips Exeter, cannot officially accept the scholarship offer until the NCAA’s early signing period for recruits from Nov. 10-17. But by declaring his intention to attend Notre Dame, Campbell put a clean end to a whirlwind two-month recruiting period that saw him rise from relative obscurity to a top-150 national recruit.


Prior to outplaying two top-50 Class of 2022 big men at “The Circuit,” a showcase tournament in Dallas in late May, Campbell had been getting offers from Ivy League schools and Eastern mid-major programs. Within days of his breakout performance with his Middlesex (Massachusetts) Magic club team, he had scholarship offers from schools representing all five major conferences. Campbell is now ranked No. 132 in 247 Sports’ overall Class of 2022 list.

As Campbell made official visits to Notre Dame, Oklahoma and Stanford and unofficial stops at Boston College and Harvard, Notre Dame rose to the top.

“They’ve had a lot of guys who are similar to me, with similar play styles, who have made really big contributions to them in the past doing things I do,” Campbell said. “They’re not just telling me they’ll use me a certain way. They’ve already had guys do those things.”

Notre Dame coaches specifically drew a comparison to Bonzie Colson, Campbell said. Colson was an undersized 6-6 post player who led the Atlantic Coast Conference in rebounding in 2017, earned third-team Associated Press All-America honors and currently plays professionally in Europe.

There is also a strong connection between the Middlesex Magic and Notre Dame. Pat Connaughton, sixth man for the NBA champion Milwaukee Bucks, is a 2015 Notre Dame grad who played for the Magic. Current Notre Dame guard Cormac Ryan is another Magic product.

Campbell finalized his decision over a Zoom call with Brey and the Notre Dame coaching staff Wednesday night. (The NCAA prohibits coaches from speaking publicly about recruits before they sign with a school.)

“It’s a fun process but it’s exhausting,” Campbell said of the recruiting process. “It just feels like a really big relief to know where I’m going.”

Campbell will not be the first player from Maine to play at Notre Dame. Boston College assistant coach Chris Markwood of South Portland, the 2000 Maine Gatorade Player of the Year, saw limited action at Notre Dame before transferring to the University of Maine for his final two seasons of eligibility. Tom Knight, a 6-foot-10 player from Dixfield and Dirigo High, played in 99 games with 26 starts for Brey and was a fifth-year senior tri-captain for Notre Dame in 2013-14.

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