Ryneldi Becenti

2022 – Athletics

Ryneldi Becenti, Navajo, is the first Native American to play professional basketball for the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA). She began playing as a free agent for the Phoenix Mercury in 1997, and also played for the Sacramento Monarchs and Portland Fire. She earned All-Pac-10 first-team honors in each of her two seasons at Arizona State University (ASU) in 1992-93. Her ASU career led to professional basketball opportunities overseas in 1994, prior to the WNBA’s formation, playing in the 1993 World University Games, earning a bronze medal. She was the first woman to be inducted into the American Indian Athletic Hall of Fame.