By Justin Grones (@JustinGrones)
GREEN BAY, Wis. (GreenBayPhoenix.com) – Former Green Bay women’s basketball great Adrian Ritchie (De Pere, Wis.) can be addressed by many impressive titles—Four-time Horizon League Champion. College graduate. Four-time NCAA women’s basketball tournament participant. All-Horizon League First Team selection. NetScouts Team USA world champion. The list goes on, but this week she added yet another impressive title—professional athlete.
A hometown hero and fan-favorite, Ritchie will head to Robin Hood’s hometown of Nottingham, England where she’ll suit up for the Nottingham Wildcats of the English Basketball League (EBL). Her contract begins on the team’s first day of practice, Sept. 16, before the EBL season begins in late October. She’ll look to contribute to a Wildcats’ squad that finished second in the EBL last season.
“It’s a complete thrill to be lucky enough to have a professional team call your name and want you to play for them. It’s something I’ve been waiting for my whole life and now that it’s here it’s pretty unreal and I’m just looking forward to this great opportunity,” Ritchie said. “Nottingham has teams ranging from U14 all the way up to the professional level, so it’s a great program with a lot of fans and support.”
Ritchie finished her impressive collegiate career as one of the most decorated players in program history. A 2012-13 All-Horizon League First Team and All-Defensive Team selection, her 1,360 career points rank 11th on the team’s all-time scoring list. She also owns the program career records 3-point field goals made (196) and attempted (538). During the 2012-13 campaign, she led the Phoenix in scoring (456, 14.3 ppg), rebounds (162, 5.1 rpg), free throws (71-84, 84.5%), blocks (19) and steals (84, 2.6 spg). She also set the program record for 3-point field goals made in a single season with 71 while shooting 37.6 percent from long range.
“I think playing at Green Bay prepared me very well for playing professionally,” Ritchie said. “I was coached very well from a young age—high school through college—and I’ve learned so much about the game of basketball. I feel lucky to have that background and I think it can take me many places.”
After wrapping up her playing career at Green Bay, she traveled to China in May as part of the NetScouts Team USA women’s basketball All-Star squad that competed against the national teams of China, Australia and Brazil. Ritchie and former Phoenix teammate Stephanie Sension helped the U.S. to a 7-2 record and the tournament championship after a nail-biting 66-61 victory over China in the final contest of the 15-day, three-city tour.
Before heading to England in September, Ritchie will be enjoying time with her family and friends while continuing workouts in preparation for her rookie season.
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