Hebard strikes gold in Pan Am finals with Team USA 3×3 in Peru
Ruthy Hebard of Fairbanks racked up another piece of hoops hardware after helping the Team USA 3×3 women’s team win a gold medal at the Pan-American Games in Peru.
The 3-time Gatorade Alaska Player of the Year is on the team with University of Oregon teammate Sabrina Ionescu and two players from the University of Connecticut.
Together, they led Team USA to a 7-0 record capped by a 21-17 victory over Argentina in the final. Hebard clinched the championship with the game-winning bucket and combined with Ionescu to score the final nine points.
“We were all really determined,” Hebard said. “We didn’t come out as strong as we wanted to, but I think we were ready and we knew they were going to give us a few punches and I think we punched back really well.”
Hebard, of West Valley High fame, previously won a silver medal with the 2017 USA U19 World Cup and a gold medal with the 2016 USA U18 National Team.
Last summer, she won the USA Basketball 3×3 national championship and went to FIBA 3×3 World Cup in the Philippines, where the team finished fifth.
The 6-foot-4 Alaskan is one of the NCAA’s most dominant post players for the Ducks and averaged 16.1 points and shot 67% from the field as a junior. She has scored 1,798 career points to rank No. 2 among Alaska women at the NCAA D1 level, trailing only former Chugiak High and University of Nebraska star Kelsey Griffin’s 2,033 points.