FAYETTEVILLE – University of Arkansas senior C'eira Ricketts
was drafted with the 12th pick in the second round of the WNBA Draft by the Phoenix Mercury Monday.
The Louisville, Ky., native was the 24th selection overall. She is the seventh Razorback women’s basketball player drafted and the third-highest draft pick for Arkansas.
“This is an exciting opportunity for C’eira to be drafted,” said Razorback head coach Tom Collen
. “I’m excited for her. She certainly is one of the best guards of the country and worthy of this opportunity. I think this says a lot about the program we are building here that we can turn out a WNBA player.
“Phoenix is a good team for her,” Collen said. “They might run up and down floor in transition as hard as any team in league and she will do well with that type of system. C’eira has a chance to be effective on both sides of floor for them. They are trying to figure out if she is a one or two guard and I think the great thing about C’eira is that she is versatile enough to play either and she’ll be given an opportunity to prove that in their camp. Any time you can play more than one position you have a chance.”
Ricketts' goal when she signed with Arkansas as a freshman was to lead the Razorbacks to the NCAA Tournament and she made good on that promise helping the team earn an at-large bid in 2011-12. Ricketts paced the Razorbacks to a 24-9 overall and 10-6 SEC season with several firsts and bests. Ricketts and the Razorbacks won a program-best eight consecutive SEC games, 10 total SEC games, finished a program-best tied for fourth in the SEC, won an SEC Tournament game for the first time in six seasons, returned to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2003 and defeated Tennessee in Knoxville for the first time getting just the second-ever program win over the Lady Vols. Ricketts finished her career ranked seventh in points (1,537), 10th in rebounding (664), third in assists (516),sixth in field goals made (606), third in field goal attempts (1,498) and first in career steals (320).
In SEC-only games, Ricketts finished her senior season ranked 11th in scoring with 11.9 points per game, third in assists with 4.6 assists per game, second in steals with 2.4 steals per game, second in assist/turnover ratio with a 1.7 ratio and seventh in minutes played with 33.6 minutes per game.
In all games, Ricketts ranked 16th in scoring with 11.3 ppg, fourth in assists with 4.3 apg, tied for second in steals with 2.7 spg, second in assist/turnover ratio with a 1.9 ratio and 10th in minutes played with 31.1 minutes per game.
Ricketts helped the Razorbacks to rank eighth in the nation in scoring defense while ranking 25th in the country in assist/turnover ratio, 51st in steals per game and 71st in assists per game.
Former Razorback Shameka Christon is the only other Arkansas player currently still competing in the WNBA. Christon, who worked with the Razorbacks as a radio analyst in 2011-12, is a member of the San Antonio Stars.
The Mercury finished 19-15 last year and 11-11 in the Western Division. They open the season May 20 at Minnesota.