Ruth Riley Hunter Inducted into Women's Basketball Hall of Fame

by Miami HEAT

MIAMI, Feb 5. – The Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame has announced that Ruth Riley Hunter, a two-time WNBA Champion, former Center for the Miami SOL and currently in her first season as Miami HEAT Radio and Studio Analyst, has been selected to the Class of 2019. The induction ceremony will take place the weekend of June 7th in Knoxville, Tennessee.

“We take special pride in the arc of Ruth’s basketball career, which includes her professional playing days with the SOL and her current role as part of the Miami HEAT radio and television broadcasting team” said Michael McCullough, EVP and Chief Marketing Officer of The HEAT Group. “Ruth’s basketball expertise and extensive philanthropy personify the culture we value so highly and we’re ecstatic she’s being recognized by the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame as one of the all-time greats.”

Born in Kansas, Riley Hunter grew up in Indiana and later played college basketball at Notre Dame. Riley Hunter won the Naismith Award as a senior in 2001. That same season, she scored the decisive points in the championship game to lead the Irish to their first NCAA Women’s Basketball Title. For her efforts, she was named the Tournament’s Most Outstanding Player. Upon graduating from Notre Dame with Summa Cum Laude honors, the Miami SOL selected her with the fifth overall pick in the 2001 WNBA Draft. Riley Hunter would play two seasons for the SOL before landing with the Detroit Shock. The former All-Star would be part of two WNBA Championship teams in Detroit (2003 and 2006), and was named the WNBA Finals MVP in 2003.  She was the first woman to be named MVP of both an NCAA and WNBA Championship team. Riley Hunter has also won two NWBL Titles, a EuroCup Championship, and was a member of the 2004 US Olympic team that captured the gold medal in Athens. Riley played with five teams during her 13-year WNBA career and served as the first Vice President of the WNBA Players Association in nine of those seasons.  

Riley Hunter has remained close to the game since her playing days ended in 2013. She has served as a global ambassador and spokesperson for the NBA/WNBA traveling the world as part of various initiatives aimed at positively affecting families and children. The San Antonio Stars tabbed her to become their General Manager in 2016, where for two years she oversaw all aspects of the team’s business and basketball operations. Most recently, she has served as the Global Director of Women’s Programs at the NBA Academy, which focuses on the growth and establishment of elite basketball training centers around the world to develop top international male and female prospects.

A devoted humanitarian, Riley Hunter has been involved with a number of noteworthy causes throughout her career. Since 2006, she has been a spokesperson for the United Nations and was one of the founding spokespeople for the UNF’s Malaria Initiative, “NothingButNets,” the largest grassroots movement to fight malaria. Her work has included hands-on support in Nigeria, Angola, and Mali to participate in net distribution. In 2012 she joined the Share our Strength movement in its specific focus to end childhood hunger and has remained extremely active in its “No Kid Hungry” campaign. 

In her current role, Riley Hunter serves as the radio analyst for all HEAT home games as well as the television studio analyst for all HEAT road games on FOX Sports Sun. She has also appeared during home pre and post games shows on the team’s exclusive television partner and contributes to the organization’s overall community service goals as a liaison.

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