UConn raises women's basketball in US, says former WNBA star | Inquirer Sports

UConn raises women’s basketball in US, says former WNBA star

By: - Reporter / @BLozadaINQ
/ 08:12 PM April 23, 2015

 Video by Ryan Leagogo

For former WNBA star Ruth Riley, the dominance of University of Connecticut in women’s college basketball does not present a problem.

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It’s the catalyst that should raise the bar for the sport in the United States.

“You respect your opponent and you respect the fact that you know it’s an incredible program,” Riley, who won Olympic Gold in the Athens Games in 2004, said Thursday afternoon at Marriott Hotel.

Riley is in the country for the Jr.NBA and Jr.WNBA 2015.

Riley said UConn coach Geno Auriemma was the person who engineered the rise of women’s basketball in the US.

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 Ruth Riley. Photo by Ryan Leagogo

Ruth Riley. Photo by Ryan Leagogo

“He sets a high standard and it raised the level of women’s college in the US, and because of that the sport has grown because of the level of competition is better.”

Riley is no stranger to the Huskies as UConn met her alma mater, University of Notre Dame, in the NCAA National Championship Game in 2014 and 2015.

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Notre Dame lost both finals.

Also, Riley is intrigued by the idea of Little League superstar Mo’ne Davis one day joining the WNBA.

Davis may be a baseball phenom, but she shredded the competition, especially Kevin Hart, in the NBA All Star Weekend.

“She’s young and talented, we have incredible and young players coming up.”

Aside from winning every conceivable award in women’s basketball, she’s a 2001 NCAA champion, two-time WNBA champion, WNBA Finals MVP, an Olympic Gold Medallist, and a Ten Outstanding Outstanding Young People award, Riley graduated Summa Cum Laude with a degree in Psychology from Notre Dame.

And she’s not done studying.

Riley is back in Notre Dame’s Graduate School for her “round 2 of education.”

“Actually the flight here gave me lot of time to catch up on my homework.”

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Still, the Olympic Gold is by far harder than getting Summa Cum Laude.

“There’s only like 12 people in the world that can say that year they won a Gold Medal,” Riley said.

TAGS: Basketball, Jr.NBA, NCAA, Notre Dame, Olympics, Sports, University of Connecticut, WNBA

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