Hebard believes her best is yet to come at USAWU19 tryouts

May 20, 2017

Ruthy Hebard basketball

Ruthy Hebard

Ruthy Hebard of Fairbanks believes her best basketball is still to come at the USA Basketball’s U19 women’s team trials.

Rather than rest of her laurels, look for the 6-foot-4 forward to go all out on Sunday, the final day of the junior national team tryout in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

“I think I have a good chance of making this team, but I need to get better every session because there are some big and very well-rounded posts they could pick over me,” Hebard told me.

“No matter the outcome I am blessed to have had the opportunity to be in Colorado Springs.”

Visiting the U.S. Olympic Center has become a habit for Hebard, who went there in 2014 for U16 tryouts and again in 2016 for U18 tryouts.

Hebard, of West Valley High fame, is among 32 players participating at this weekend’s U19 tryout alongside some of the country’s top NCAA underclassmen.

The competition on the court is tough. There are no weak players, no easy basket.

“I’m playing alright. Wish I was doing better,” she said. “My emotions have been up and down all weekend. I have confidence just like last summer.”

In 2016, Hebard was selected to the USA Basketball U18 team that won a gold medal at the FIBA Americas Championships in Chile.

She went on to earn All-Pac-12 honors as a freshman at the University of Oregon, where she led the 23-win Ducks with a 14.9 scoring average, 8.5 rebounding average, .588 field-goal percentage and 49 steals.

In the first round of the NCAA Tournament, Hebard scored the winning basket in the final seconds and then swatted away a potential game-winning shot at the buzzer to preserve Oregon’s 71-70 win over Temple.

She’s done so much for Oregon people might get it twisted and think she’s from there. She’s not. She’s from The Last Frontier.

“Alaska will always be home,” Hebard said, “but Oregon is definitely a big part of me now as well.”