UConn Star Ralph Had Anorexia

Monday, October 30th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

STORRS, Conn. (AP) — Connecticut basketball star Shea Ralph struggled with anorexia nervosa, which depleted her to the point that she needed help getting out of bed.

After a knee injury in 1997, Ralph said, she was afraid she would gain weight.

``I flipped,'' Ralph said in Sunday's Hartford Courant. ``And I just didn't eat.''

Ralph, a 6-foot guard entering her senior season, was selected MVP of last year's Final Four in which UConn won the title.

She was diagnosed with anorexia nervosa during her sophomore year in high school. At one point, she weighed 108 pounds.

Anorexia is defined as the loss of at least 15 percent of body weight through starvation, and the loss of a woman's period for at least three consecutive months.

A 1999 NCAA study found more than half the Division I college female athletes surveyed were diagnosed with some kind of eating disorder.

The disorder can be triggered by stress, coupled with a societal emphasis on being thin.