Jan. 23, 2014
NOTRE DAME, Ind. — Ruth Riley (’01), one of the most celebrated student-athletes in Notre Dame history, has been named to the 10th annual class of Atlantic Coast Conference Women’s Basketball Legends, the ACC announced Thursday.
Riley and the rest of the 2014 ACC Legends Class (which includes 13 former student-athletes and two former head coaches who represent four decades of women’s basketball) will be honored at the annual ACC Women’s Basketball Legends’ Luncheon at 1 p.m. (ET) March 8 in Greensboro, N.C. The group then will be introduced to the crowd at the Greensboro Coliseum at halftime of the first ACC Championship semifinal that evening.
The ACC Women’s Basketball Legends program honors both players and coaches from each of the ACC’s 15 schools who have contributed to the conference’s rich tradition.
Tickets to the Legends Lunch are priced at $35 each and can be purchased by calling (336) 369-4673 — quantities are limited.
The only Notre Dame women’s basketball player to compile 2,000 points and 1,000 rebounds in her career, Riley was the 2001 consensus national player of the year while leading the Fighting Irish to a 34-2 record and the program’s first national championship as a senior.
A two-time first-team Associated Press All-America selection and two-time first-team CoSIDA Academic All-American, Riley went on to be selected as the 2001 CoSIDA Academic All-America Team Member of the Year, and subsequently was inducted into CoSIDA Academic All-America Hall of Fame in 2012.
A native of nearby Macy, Ind., Riley holds program records in seven career categories, including rebounds (1,007), blocked shots (370 – tied-16th in NCAA history), and field goal percentage (.632 – tied-13th in NCAA history), and also set the school single-game scoring record with 41 points against Providence in 1998. A three-time BIG EAST Conference Defensive Player of Year, Riley was named to the All-BIG EAST First Team three times and was the 2001 BIG EAST Player of the Year.
Riley capped her college career by hitting two free throws with 5.8 seconds remaining in the NCAA title game against Purdue, lift the Fighting Irish to a 68-66 victory and the national championship. Riley had 28 points, 13 rebounds and seven blocks in the finale and was named the Most Outstanding Player for her performance.
After her time at Notre Dame, Riley was selected by the Miami Sol in the first round (fifth overall pick) of the 2001 WNBA Draft and later was named MVP of the 2003 WNBA Finals after leading Detroit to the first of two titles it would win during Riley’s 13-year professional career. To this day, Riley remains one of only three women’s basketball players to be named Finals MVP at both the college and professional levels.
The first vice-president of the WNBA Players Association, Riley also was a member of the 2004 U.S. National Team that won the gold medal at the Athens Olympics, making her one of nine players to win NCAA, WNBA, and Olympic championships.
For more information on the Notre Dame women’s basketball program, sign up to follow the Fighting Irish women’s basketball Twitter pages (@ndwbbsid or @ndwbb), like the program on Facebook (facebook.com/ndwbb) or register for the Irish ALERT text-messaging system through the “Fan Center” pulldown menu on the front page at UND.com.
— Chris Masters, Associate Athletic Media Relations Director