BANGKOK, Thailand — University of Arkansas freshman guard C’eira Ricketts becomes the second women’s basketball player to earn international gold while representing the United States as the Americans captured the 2009 FIBA U19 World Championship.
Team USA avenged its only loss of the event by defeating Spain, 87-71, in the championship game.
With her world gold, Ricketts joins former four-time All-America honorable mention Christy Smith as Razorback women’s basketball players to earn championship honors. Smith lead the American team to the 1997 World University Games title.
Ricketts scored two points with a steal in her five minutes off the bench in the gold medal game.
The Americans dominated the opening quarter with a 33-16 lead. Taking a 13-point lead to halftime, Spain managed to regain some ground in the third but never seriously threatened the Americans.
Averaging 3.7 ppg and 1.7 rpg for the tournament, Ricketts was among the team leaders in steals with 12 for the nine-game run, fourth on the American team.
Ricketts is only the second Razorback to play for Team USA at the FIBA level. The only other Razorback to play in what is now known as the U19, formerly Young Women’s, is current WNBA All-Star and former collegiate All-American Shameka Christon. Christon’s team earned a bronze medal in 2001.