March 18, 2002
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Former University of Notre Dame All-America center and 2001 Naismith Player of the Year Ruth Riley has been chosen to participate in the 2002 USA Basketball Senior Women’s National Team spring training camps, which will be held from March 19-April 10 in four cities across the country.
Riley, who currently plays for the Miami Sol in the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA), will be competing for one of seven roster spots on the 2002 USA World Championship Team, which will be coached by four-time WNBA champion Van Chancellor of the Houston Comets. The 14th FIBA World Championship for Women will feature teams from 16 nations competing in nine cities in the People’s Republic of China Sept. 14-25.
Riley completed her Notre Dame career last April as one of the most decorated players in school history. In addition to earning consensus national player-of-the-year honors last year, she was a three-time All-America selection and was named the Most Outstanding Player at the 2001 NCAA Midwest Regional and Final Four, sparking the Irish to their first national championship. She also was the 2001 BIG EAST Conference Player of the Year, a three-time BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Year and a three-time all-BIG EAST choice. She is the only player in school history to log 2,000 points and 1,000 rebounds, placing third on the Irish all-time scoring chart with 2,072 points and tops on the Notre Dame career rebounding ledger with 1,007 caroms.
As the No. 5 overall pick in the 2001 WNBA Draft, Riley averaged 6.3 points and 4.1 rebounds per game for the Sol, and ranked ninth in the league with 1.44 blocks per game. In addition, Miami was 15-5 with the Macy, Ind., native in the starting lineup, qualifying for the playoffs in just its second year of existence.
If she is selected for the ’02 World Championship squad, Riley would join her third USA Basketball unit. In 1998, she averaged 10.3 ppg. and a team-high 7.6 rpg. as a member of the USA Select Team that posted a 7-1 record against national teams from Puerto Rico, Poland and Spain. The following summer, she helped the United States collect a silver medal at the 1999 World University Games, notching 10.3 ppg. and 5.2 rpg.
The 2002 USA Basketball spring training camps will be held in Houston (March 19-24), San Antonio (March 26-31), New York City (April 2-4) and Colorado Springs (April 5-10). The USA Basketball Women’s Senior National Team Committee will use these camps, as well as a portion of the WNBA season to select the final seven members for the 2002 USA World Championship Team. In addition to Riley, the other training camp invitees are: Tamika Catchings (Tennessee ’01/Indiana Fever), Tamecka Dixon (Kansas ’97/Los Angeles Sparks), Shannon Johnson (South Carolina ’96/Orlando Miracle), Merlakia Jones (Florida ’95/Cleveland Rockers), Betty Lennox (Louisiana Tech ’00/Minnesota Lynx), Tari Phillips (Central Florida ’92/New York Liberty) and Jackie Stiles (Southwest Missouri State ’01/Portland Fire).
– ND –