Sports

Photo courtesy of Richard Whittaker, Sports Services

Star rookie speaks about her love of the game

Katherine DeClerq | Fulcrum Staff

EVERY ONCE IN a while, a player deserves the spotlight in the sports section of the Fulcrum. First-year point guard Kellie Ring has proven she will be a powerful contributor on the basketball court this year. After being selected to represent Canada in the Under-19 World Championship in Chile and being well sought after by NCAA teams, Ring made the decision to come to the University of Ottawa to continue her basketball career. This weekend alone, the Ottawa native racked up 19 points, eight assists, and five steals for the Gees.

The Fulcrum: When did you first start playing basketball?

Ring: I started playing when I was really young, probably around six years old.

Were you into any other sports at that point? What made you decide to focus on basketball?

I had always played soccer starting at a young age, and then I took up basketball. It was good, because they were opposite seasons. But a couple years after starting basketball, I started playing hockey and I played until I was 16 years old. It was very tough juggling basketball and hockey at the same time, but I somehow found the way to do it.

I did have to eventually pick one sport, and I must say it was a tough decision. But, I think at the end of the day, basketball was always my favourite, because I just got this happiness when I played it—like nothing else mattered.

Was there anyone in particular that motivated you or helped you challenge yourself?

I’d say my parents are [my] main source of support. They have and will always be there for me, pushing me to be my best. I am so grateful for all the time and effort they put into doing that. Also, I think it is important to have self-motivation, because having the ability to push and challenge yourself is extremely important in being successful.

Why did you choose to attend the U of O?

I definitely chose to come to University of Ottawa because of basketball. It was a tough decision, but the main factor was the coach. I needed someone who would push me, and [there was] no doubt in my mind that [Andy Sparks] is the right person to do that.

What have you learned since coming here?

School [has been] a reality check. They aren’t joking in high school when they say that university is way tougher. I have learned time management, when to do my work and when to go to the gym.

How do you feel about your performance on the court so far?

There is always room for improvement. I am not satisfied with my play so far, and probably will never be. But I’m working hard to be more consistent and to be able to help the team out as much as I can.

After you graduate, is professional basketball something you want to pursue?

Definitely. I would love to play overseas one day. It is definitely a dream of mine, but right now I’m just focused on the next five years of my life here as a Gee-Gee.

If you could do anything or be anything, what would that “anything” be?

I would just love to play basketball for the rest of my life. It is just something I love to do. Maybe one day I will travel the world as well. But right now, all I want to do is play.