MARTIN, Tenn. – Former University of Tennessee at Martin women’s basketball player Rickiesha Bryant has agreed to terms with BG 74 Göttingen, a second division German basketball team in Göttingen, a university town two hours north of Frankfurt.
“Three years ago I would have never thought that I would be able to play professional basketball,” said Bryant. “If it wasn’t for my coaches pushing me every day, I do not know where I would be. The women’s basketball staff at UT Martin has prepared me not only for professional basketball, but for the real world as well.”
Bryant, who played at UT Martin from 2010-13 after transferring from East Mississippi Community College, will go down as one of the most dominant post players in recent Skyhawk history. After starting just three games in her first two years with the program, averaging 3.1 points per game, her production rose substantially in her final year.
The 2012-13 season saw Bryant set a UT Martin single-season record for highest field goal percentage (.642), converting 129 of her 201 attempts. She cracked double-figures in the scoring column on 18 different occasions – including 17 times in the final 23 games of the season.
The Miami, Fla. native mustered nine double-doubles down the stretch, all of which coming in her final 20 outings. In conference play she corralled at least a dozen rebounds eight times and averaged a double-double with 10.5 points and 10.0 rebounds per game.
In addition, she led the Ohio Valley Conference and set a single-season school record for blocks, swatting away 85 shot attempts. She turned away at least four blocks in 11 games, including flirting with a triple-double at Murray State (13 points, 15 rebounds, eight blocks) on Feb. 23. The eight block performance tied a UT Martin single-game record which had stood since 1986.
Her final season was punctuated with a remarkable effort in the OVC Tournament. In three games, she averaged 13.7 points, 11.3 rebounds and 4.0 blocks per contest while shooting 77.6 percent from the floor (14-for-18) and 86.7 percent from the free throw line (13-for-15). She was as consistent as they come in the league tournament, coming up just one point shy in the quarterfinals of tallying three straight double-doubles en route to All-OVC Tournament honors.
Bryant leaves UT Martin as part of a core nucleus which led the Skyhawks to three-straight NCAA tournament appearances after capturing a trio of OVC Tournament championships and an outright OVC championship in 2011-12. She will join the club this fall with the season getting underway in October.
“I think it’s great for Rickiesha to be rewarded for what she did last year,” said UT Martin head women’s basketball coach Kevin McMillan. “She has grown up a lot and developed into a well-rounded player that we look forward to following in Europe. We are very proud of her and her accomplishments as it’s not only a great step for her professional career, but shows signs of where our program has come.”