Rizzotti Named to Women's Basketball Hall of Fame
University of Hartford women's basketball coach Jennifer Rizzotti was announced on Monday as one of six inductees in the Class of 2013 to the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame. Rizzotti, being inducted as a player, joins other noteworthy Division I head coaches Gary Blair (Texas A&M) and Jim Foster (Ohio State).
See video of Rizzotti discussing her selection to the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame.
To be inducted as a player, an athlete must be retired at least five years from the highest level of play. Rizzotti, who was an All-American at the University of Connecticut, concluded her professional career with the Cleveland Rockers in 2003 after playing five total seasons in the WNBA. Rizzotti was first drafted in the WNBA in 1999 by the Houston Comets, where she collected a pair of WNBA Championship rings. Rizzotti also spent three seasons with the New England Blizzard of the American Basketball League, where she was a two-time All-Star.
During her collegiate career, Rizzotti averaged 11.4 points and totaled 1,540 points, 637 assists and 349 steals. She set the UConn season and career records in both of those categories. The point guard was the Associated Press National Player of the Year and Wade Trophy winner as college basketball's outstanding senior player in 1995-96. That accolade came a season after leading the Huskies to their first national championship and perfect 35-0 record in 1995.
She was a two-time Kodak All-America First Team selection, a GTE/CoSIDA Women's Basketball Academic All-American, the Big East Player of the Year and the Big East Women's Basketball Scholar-Athlete of the Year. During the Huskies' memorable run to the 1995 national championship, Rizzotti was featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated.
Rizzotti's coaching expertise has also led her to three Gold Medals as a coach with USA Basketball. Her first experience with the national basketball program came as an assistant coach with the 2006 U-18 National Team that won the FIBA World Championship held at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. Rizzotti then took the reins of the U-18 National Team in 2010, leading the team to a Gold Medal at the FIBA World Championships, and she returned to marshal the 2011 U-19 National Team to a Gold Medal in Chile last summer.
Rizzotti and the 2013 Women's Basketball Hall of Fame inductees will be officially introduced at the 2012 State Farm Tip-Off Classic between Baylor and Kentucky on November 13 in Waco, Texas. The 2013 induction will take place at the Hall of Fame in Knoxville, Tenn., on June 8, 2013. For more information on the State Farm Tip-Off Classic or the Induction Ceremony, please visit www.wbhof.com.