Ryneldi Becenti

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Ryneldi Becenti
Personal information
Born (1971-08-11) August 11, 1971 (age 47)
Fort Defiance, Arizona
Nationality American
Career information
High school Window Rock
(Fort Defiance, Arizona)
College Scottsdale CC (1990–1991)
Arizona State (1991–1993)
Position Guard
Career history
1997 Phoenix 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 collegepoint 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 USA 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]