FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Freshman Ceira Ricketts was voted the Southeastern Conference Newcomer of the Year by The Associated Press this week.
Arkansas’ leading scorer, Ricketts becomes the first Razorback women’s basketball player to receive the AP’s award.
“It just confirms what we have said all year long,” UA head coach Tom Collen said. “Ceira is a very special player, and it is fantastic for her and for our team when others recognize the accomplishments.”
Ricketts was also named AP All-SEC honorable mention, joining a select number of Razorbacks picked for the media organization’s all-conference team.
“As much as Ceira gets singled out, this award really is about this whole team of young players who came in and made an impact right away for the Razorbacks,” Collen said. “She gets the award, but all six of our newcomers made it happen.”
Arkansas’ fans have the opportunity to see the AP Newcomer of the Year and the Razorbacks open Women’s National Invitational Tournament play on Monday, March 23, at 7 p.m.
The Razorbacks host the winner of Saturday afternoon’s contest between Texas-Arlington and Oklahoma State.
“The great part about playing in the WNIT is it gives our young players a chance to play more games,” Collen said. “It also gives those young players a chance to help send off our seniors the right way.”
Tickets for the opening game for Arkansas in the 2009 WNIT are now on sale, and may be purchased on-line, by phone at 800-982-HOGS (4647) or in person at the Razorback Ticket Center on South Razorback Road.
The Associated Press selects only 10 players – a first and second team of five players – for its all-conference team, plus honorable mentions.
The last Razorback to earn a major AP award was Shameka Christon as the AP SEC Athlete of the Year in 2004.
All-time, only six Razorback women’s basketball players have received AP All-SEC. The program began in 1998, with former All-American Christy Smith as the first-ever Razorback selected. Others include Christon, a three-time pick, Brittney Vaughn, India Lewis, Wendi Willits and Karyn Karlin.