FIBA Asia Cup

End of an era as Ricardo Ratliffe retires from Korean national team

Delfin Dioquino

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End of an era as Ricardo Ratliffe retires from Korean national team

THUMBS UP. Ricardo Ratliffe in action for South Korea in the 2024 FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers.


American-born Ricardo Ratliffe draws the curtains on a six-year run as naturalized player for South Korea

MANILA, Philippines – South Korean basketball marked the end of an era as naturalized player Ricardo Ratliffe announced his retirement from the national team.

Ratliffe said he suited up for Korea for the final time when he powered the squad to a 96-62 win over Thailand to wrap up the first window of the FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers on Sunday, February 25.

His decision to hang it up brought to a close a six-year run as naturalized player for Korea.

“I would like to say thank you so much for making me the first foreign player to represent this great country on the international level,” the American-born Ratliffe wrote on Instagram.

“It’s so crazy to me that it has already been six years that I’ve been a member of this team.”

Given the Korean name Ra Guna, Ratliffe started representing the East Asian country in 2018 and went on to become one of the continent’s best big men.

Ratliffe, 35, helped Korea capture a pair of bronze medals in the 2018 Asian Games and 2018 Williams Jones Cup.

He starred for Korea in the 2019 FIBA World Cup, where he finished as tournament leader in scoring and rebounding with averages of 23 points and 12.8 rebounds.

In the current Asia Cup Qualifiers, Ratliffe averaged 18.5 points, 10 rebounds, and 1.5 blocks as Korea ended the first window with a 1-1 record in Group A.

Ratliffe, a former PBA import, will continue to play for the Busan KCC Egis in the Korean Basketball League, although he said his contract will expire by the end of the season.

“I don’t know what the future holds for me since I’m a free agent at the end of this season, but I just wanted to let it be known that I’m forever grateful for this opportunity,” he said.

“Ra Guna out.” –

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Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.