FAIRBANKS — Ruthy Hebard is coming home.
The former standout for the West Valley High School girls basketball team has experienced nothing but success during her first two seasons at the University of Oregon, where she competes for the school’s NCAA Division I women’s basketball team in the Pac-12 Conference.
Hebard, a 6-foot-4 forward set to begin her junior year, will return to Fairbanks with the Ducks on Nov. 6.
On Friday, the Oregon women’s basketball team’s official twitter account tweeted that the team will open its season with a game against the University of Alaska Fairbanks, a stone’s throw away from where Hebard made a name for herself at West Valley.
“We open the season on Nov. 6 up in @RuthyHebard24’s hometown! Can’t wait to see all her friends and family in the stands. #GoDucks,” read the tweet, which also featured a photo of Hebard with the words “2018-19 Schedule” and “November 6 at Alaska-Fairbanks” with a Nanooks logo.
Neither Oregon or UAF have released their full schedules, so there aren’t any more details about what time the game will be played or whether it will be held at the UAF Patty Center, which is where the Nanooks traditionally play their home games.
Hebard was a three-time Alaska Gatorade State Player of the Year at West Valley. She also was a first team all-state pick three times and finished her high school career with 2,227 points.
The forward averaged 25.9 points, 15.1 rebounds, 2.9 steals, 2.1 blocks and 1.5 assists during her final season with the Wolfpack. Hebard became the first player in West Valley history to get her jersey retired.
Recognition has continued to come Hebard’s way at Oregon.
She was named to the All-Pac-12 team and the Pac-12 All-Freshman team at the end of her debut season with the Ducks. After a stellar sophomore season, Hebard was tabbed the Katrina McClain National Power Forward of the Year, made the All-Pac-12 team and was honorable mention for the Associated Press All-American and WBCA All-American squads.
Hebard set an NCAA record for consecutive field goals made last season. Her 33 buckets in a row were more than any NCAA player has made, regardless of gender, in the history of the sport.
In addition to shining for the Ducks, who advanced to the program’s first Elite Eight during last year’s NCAA Division I tournament, Hebard also has represented Team USA on multiple occasions.
She helped the Under-19 national team earn a silver medal at the 2017 FIBA U19 World Championship in Italy, and started for the U18 national team in 2016 after graduating from West Valley.
Contact News-Miner sports writer Brad Joyal at 459-7530. Follow him on Twitter: @FDNMSportsGuy.