NAMES IN THE BOOK
Shea Ralph- Terry Sanford (1993-1996)
Shea Ralph is one of the greatest female basketball players ever from the Tar Heel state.
A graduate of Terry Sanford High School in Fayetteville, Ralph ranks among the all-time NCHSAA leaders in a number of defensive and offensive categories that helped her earn the 1996 Pat Best Memorial Award as the NCHSAA Athlete of the Year. Ralph also earned National High School Player of the Year honors.
Categories include: second in single season and career steals, and first in single season scoring (1,135), top-five in assists in a single game (18) and season (278), season scoring average (39.1), first in single game scoring (61), single season scoring for juniors and seniors, consecutive 20-point games (50) and field goals in a season (426).
The success for Shea did not end in high school, as she went on to an All-American career at the University of Connecticut. Her senior year she captained Connecticut’s 2000 NCAA National Championship team and was named Big East and National Player of the Year, as well as the 2000 Final Four MVP. In addition, Sports Illustrated tagged her as the 2omen’s Player of the Year in the same season. Ralph finished her career at UConn ranked among the program’s top-10 career leaders in steals (252), assists (456) and field goal percentage (.579).
After a brief, injury-plagued WNBA career, she began her coaching career in 2003 in the National Women’s Basketball League before she moved into the college ranks, serving as an integral part of the revamping of the University of Pittsburgh’s women’s basketball team until she returned to the campus of the University of Connecticut before the 2008 season.
As one of the all-time greats in North Carolina women’s high school basketball, Shea Ralph cemented her name as one of the “Names in the Book.”