*Ruth Ellen Riley’ was born on August 28, 1979 in Ransom, Kansas, and grew up in Macy, Indiana. Her mother is Sharon Riley, and she has one older sister, Rachel Cattin, and one younger brother, Jacob Riley. High SchoolRuth was six feet tall by the time she was 12 years old, and played center on her basketball team. She was also on the volleyball and track teams. She finished her prep career in basketball with 1,372 points, 1,011 rebounds and 427 blocks*College’Ruth attended Notre Dame University. She graduated in 2001 with a degree in psychology, having made the Dean’s List every semester.
Ruth came off the bench for the first 6 games of her freshman year, then became a starter adn remained so for the rest of her career.
In both her junior and senior years she was an Associated Press First Team All-American selection. As a senior, she won the Naismith Award and was the Associated Press Player of the Year. In addition, she was the 2000-01 Verizon Academic All-America Team Member of the Year.
Ruth finished her Notre Dame career with 2,072 points, and school records for rebounds (1,007), blocked shots (370), and field goal percentage (.632). She was also the reason the Notre Dame Fighting Irish won their first and, to date, only NCAA championship, in 2001 against the Purdue Boilermakers, her freethrows at the end of the game sealing the win, 68-66.
WNBAOn April 20, 2001, Riley was selected by the Miami Sol as the fifth overall pick in the 2001 WNBA Draft.
She came off the bench for the first 12 games. On July 1, she made her first professional start, on the road against the Los Angeles Sparks, and started for the rest of the season.
Her second season (2002) was a difficult one. After playing well in the preseason, she broke a finger the day before the regular season started. She could not play for the Sol’s first several games