Former Shawnee Lady Wolves basketball player Caitlyn Ramirez is taking her talents to Israel.
She recently signed a one-year contract with Maccabi Raanana of the Israeli Basketball Premier League. The league is Israel's top division.
“I'm very excited and honored for the opportunity to continue playing basketball in Israel,” Ramirez said.
Last season in Spain, playing for Cadi La Seu was successful. Ramirez averaged 19 minutes off the bench. She was about efficient as they come, averaging 11.6 points and 5.2 rebounds and shot 56.9 percent from the field in limited minutes.
“My rookie season was pretty successful,” Ramirez said. “There were some veterans that have been in the system and playing with the same people for a few years so I was pretty happy with my overall performance.”
Her team had a relatively successful season, finishing one place higher in the standings than the previous year, she said.
“We tied for sixth place and have a play-in game for the Queen's Cup,” Ramirez said. “We came up short in that game so we ended up seventh. As long as we improved from the previous season's record, we were happy with it.”
The professional training schedule with Cadi La Seu was intense and left very little time to be a tourist, she said.
“Last year was absolutely amazing,” Ramirez said. “We had two practices each day from August to March. It took a toll on your body but I was able to make it through without any injuries. We only had games one day each week so we were very busy.”
The most challenging part of adjusting to the professional level overseas was the preparation, she said.
“One of the toughest things to adjust to was the travel schedule,” Ramirez said. “There were times when we had to travel 17 hours on a charter bus. We would play the game and turn around and come home.”
Ramirez played two seasons at Shawnee High School. Her team qualified for the state tournament her junior year. Her senior year Ramirez tore her ACL during warmups of a preseason scrimmage. The team went on to an undefeated season and went on to win the state tournament.
In her first season playing collegiately, Ramirez averaged 11.6 points per game and 6.4 rebounds for a Tyler Junior College squad that averaged 91.6 points per game.
After one season at Tyler Junior College, Ramirez transferred to Troy University.
The one aspect of Ramirez’s game that was improved the most during her three seasons at Troy was her perimeter game. Ramirez made 63 treys during her stint with the Trojans.
In her senior season during the opening round of the conference tournament against Arkansas State, Ramirez set a Troy single-game rebounding record with 22. She also chipped in 25 points in the win.
Ramirez played in two NCAA tournaments, losing to two Final Four teams.
Along with playing the the NCAA tournament, Ramirez was a three-time Sun Belt Conference Player of the Week, 2017 Sun Belt Conference Tournament MVP, a member of the Sun Belt All Tournament Team in 2016 and a member of the All-Sun Belt Conference Team in 2016-17.
Ramirez said she will report to Maccabi Raanana in October.