Ryneldi Becenti

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Ryneldi Becenti
Personal information
Born (1971-08-11) August 11, 1971 (age 47)
Fort Defiance, Arizona
Career information
High schoolWindow Rock
(Fort Defiance, Arizona)
CollegeScottsdale CC (1990–1991)
Arizona State (1991–1993)
Career history
1997Phoenix Mercury
Stats at Basketball-Reference.com

Ryneldi Becenti (born August 11, 1971) is a retired American professional basketball player. She became the first Native American to play in the WNBA when she played for the Phoenix Mercury in 1997.[1]

High school[edit]

Becenti attended Window Rock High School in Fort Defiance, Arizona, and in 1989, Scottsdale Community College in Phoenix. She was the country's top junior college point guard in 1990-91, and left Scottsdale a two-time NJCAA All-American.[1]


Becenti was an All-Pac 10 First Team selection in both her seasons at Arizona State University, and a two-time honorable mention All-America honoree. She also turned out for the US at the 1993 World University Games in Buffalo, New York, where her team won the bronze medal.[1][2][3]

Professional career[edit]

In 1994, Becenti was playing professional basketball in Sweden. She also played in Greece and, briefly, Turkey. In 1997, she signed with the Phoenix Mercury in the WNBA as a free agent and played in their inaugural season. In 1998, she was drafted by the Chicago Condors in the American Basketball League.[4][5][6]


In 1996, she became the first and only woman to be inducted into the American Indian Athletic Hall of Fame.[1]

in 2013, she was the first women's basketball player to have her jersey (No. 21) retired by ASU.[2]


  1. ^ a b c d "Prominent American Indian Athletes:Ryneldi Becenti". Mesa Community College. Retrieved January 9, 2015.
  2. ^ a b "ASU women's basketball will honor Ryneldi Becenti". AZ Central. December 21, 2013. Retrieved January 9, 2015.
  3. ^ "Sixteenth World University Games – 1993". USA Basketball. Retrieved January 9, 2015.
  4. ^ "Arizona State retires Becenti's number". AZ Central. December 21, 2013. Retrieved January 9, 2015.
  5. ^ "Native American Women in the WNBA; Schimmel to Join Elite Company". nativenewsonline.net. April 9, 2014. Retrieved January 9, 2015.
  6. ^ "History of The American Basketball Leange: ABL Drafts 1996 - 1998". apbr.org. Retrieved January 9, 2015.

External links[edit]