Ticha Penicheiro, Ruth Riley headline 2019 class of Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame

Photo Credit: WBIR-TV

June 8 will be quite the banner day in one of women’s basketball’s flagship cities in Knoxville, Tennessee.

The Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame will have seven new inductees, and among those are a pair of names that almost automatically ring bells in WNBA circles in Ruth Riley and Ticha Penicheiro.

Riley was a Naismith Award winner in her senior season at Notre Dame in 2001. She led her Fighting Irish to its first ever NCAA championship. She was drafted by the Miami Sol and played her first two seasons of WNBA ball in South Florida before the team unfortunately folded.

Her career would eventually see her end up in Detroit, where she won two WNBA championships with the Detroit Shock – including being named WNBA Finals MVP in 2003. She also played on the Olympic team that won a gold medal in Athens in 2004.

Penicheiro played collegiately at Old Dominion including an appearance in 1997’s NCAA tournament final. Most of her 12 years in the W were in Sacramento with the Monarchs. In 2006, her Monarchs defeated Riley’s Shock in the WNBA Finals.

The 2019 class also includes Valerie Still, a former All-American who is Kentucky’s all-time leading scorer and rebounder. Carolyn Bush Roddy – a two-time NJCAA All-American who won national championships with Wayland Baptist in Texas – also will go in.

Three other figures will also be honored this summer in Knoxville. Beth Bass is the former CEO of the Women’s Basketball Coaches’ Association. Joan Cronan spent nearly three decades as the women’s athletic director at Tennessee during the legendary run of the Lady Vols while Pat Summitt was head coach. Nora Lynn Finch is the former senior associate commissioner for ACC women’s basketball and spent much of her career with North Carolina State.

The announcement took place during ESPN2’s broadcast of the Baylor vs. Texas game – one that the No. 1 ranked Bears won 74-68.

June 8 will be a big day in the women’s basketball realm on the court as well. Only one game will occur that Saturday, but it will be a big one as the Los Angeles Sparks and Minnesota Lynx renew their rivalry at Target Center in a nationally-televised game on ABC.

Congratulations are in order for all seven enshrines! Immortality awaits in Knoxville!

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