Richard James Ricketts, Jr. (December 4, 1933 – March 6, 1988) was an American professional basketball player.
A 6 ft 7 in (2.01 m) forward from Duquesne University, Ricketts was selected by the St. Louis Hawks with the first pick of the 1955 NBA Draft. He played three seasons in the NBA with the Hawks and the Rochester and Cincinnati Royals and scored 1,974 career points. Ricketts, a strong 225-pounder, was drafted #1 overall by the NBA Hawks because he was also property of the Major-League baseball Cardinals. Pitching largely for the Rochester Red Wings, Ricketts became part of that NBA franchise there as well. When the team relocated to Cincinnati, the forward/center played the 1957-58 season there. Ricketts was affected by the tragic injury of teammate Maurice Stokes in March, 1958 and retired from pro basketball following that season.
Ricketts was also signed as an amateur free agent pitcher by the St. Louis Cardinals in 1955. In 1959 he appeared in 12 games for the Cardinals, including 9 starts. He had a 1–6 record, with a 5.82 ERA in 552⁄3 innings. His brother Dave Ricketts played six years in the major leagues.
By Dean Hanley
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