Ruth Riley, an NCAA and WNBA champion, and Ticha Penicheiro, a WNBA champion who participated in an NCAA Final Four, are among the 12 finalists for the 2019 induction class into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in Knoxville, Tennessee.
Riley led Notre Dame to the 2001 national championship and was the most outstanding player of the tournament. The center went on to a 13-year WNBA career, which included titles in 2003 and 2006 with the Detroit Shock. She averaged 6.3 points and 4.1 rebounds in her WNBA career. Riley also won a gold medal with the 2004 U.S. Olympic team.
Penicheiro was point guard for Sacramento's 2005 WNBA championship team. A native of Portugal, she led Old Dominion to the 1997 NCAA final, which the Lady Monarchs lost to Tennessee. She was the Wade Trophy winner as a senior in 1998. Penicheiro played 15 seasons in the WNBA and led the league in assists (2,599) until being passed in 2017 by Seattle's Sue Bird. Penicheiro finished her career averaging 6.1 points and 5.7 assists, and in 2016 was named one of the WNBA's top 20 players in history.
On Feb. 4, the Class of 2019 will be announced, along with the Trailblazers of the Game award, which also is selected annually. The honorees will be acknowledged at the Women's Final Four in Tampa, Florida.
The induction ceremony will be at the Hall of Fame in Knoxville on June 8.
The other finalists, in alphabetical order:
Beth Bass (contributor): Former CEO of the Women's Basketball Coaches Association.
Debbie Brock (veteran player): Played point guard for three-time AIAW national champion Delta State in 1975, '76, '77).
Joan Cronan (contributor): Spent three decades as women's athletic director at Tennessee.
Nora Lynn Finch (contributor): ACC assistant athletic director, chair of inaugural NCAA women's basketball committee from 1981-88, member of multiple NCAA committees.
Lucille Kyvallos (veteran coach): Coached 12 seasons at Queens College, including appearance in 1973 AIAW title game. Was on the U.S. Olympic committee from 1968-72 and 1974-76.
Carolyn Bush Roddy (veteran player): Led Wayland Baptist to two AAU national championships as leading scorer and rebounder.
Paul Sanderford (coach): Went 453-189 in 25 seasons as a college coach, including three trips to the NCAA Women's Final Four with Western Kentucky.
Bob Schneider (coach): Went 1,045-293 in 40 seasons coaching both college and high school basketball. Won five state championships with Canyon High in Texas.
Valerie Still (player): Kentucky women's all-time leading scorer and rebounder, helped Wildcats to their only SEC tournament title, in 1982. Won ABL titles with Columbus in 1998 and '99.
Amy Tucker (contributor/assistant coach): Stanford went 889-183 in her 32 seasons as assistant coach, which included her filling in for head coach Tara VanDerveer when the latter was with the U.S. national team in 1995-96.