July 29, 2004

Ruth Riley Chat Transcript

Ruth Riley is in her fourth season in the WNBA and her second season as the starting center for the World Champion Detroit Shock.

Riley started and played in 34 games last season, averaging 9.6 points, 5.9 rebounds and 1.9 assists in 29.3 minutes. Riley was also the MVP of the 2003 WNBA Finals.

Riley sat down to chat with Pistons and Shock fans on Thursday, July 29th.
Tari (South Bend, IN): I'm a big ND fan. Are you still friends with any of your teammates from ND (Ivey, Leahy, etc.)? Good luck!

Ruth Riley: Hi Tari,

My teammates from ND will always be good friends of mine because of the great experience I had there.

Jasmine (Ferndale, MI): Who's the drama queen of the team?

Ruth Riley: Jasmine,

Thanks for the question. You are trying to get me in trouble with my teammates. But there might be a few in competition for that title!

Brittany (MI): I noticed how some players from the Shock have nicknames, like Elaine and Deanna are 'E.P' and 'Tweety.' Do you have a nickname? And if so, where did you get it from?

Ruth Riley: Brittany,

I don't have an official nickname like my other teammates. But they do come up with a few along the way.

Rachel (Ferndale, MI): What do you think you'll be doing when your basketball career is over?

Ruth Riley: Rachel,

I plan on going back to graduate school. I'm leaning towards law school at this time, but there is a possibility of changing that as well.

Katie (Detroit, MI): Hey Ruth! Who is your roll model?

Ruth Riley: My role model is my Mom, Sharon Riley because she is a strong, independent, amazing woman.

Morrissa (Augusta): Well the first thing I want to say is that you're really good at blocking shots when it comes to your defense down low. Who is your toughest match up down low?

Ruth Riley: I think my toughest match up is Lisa Leslie and Lauren Jackson. They have great post up games and at the same time they are able to play on the perimeter as well.

Trinity (Ferndale, MI): Hi Ruth. Who is your best friend on the team?

Ruth Riley: Trinity, that is a good question. One of the great things about playing for the Shock is that we get along off the court as well as on. So I consider all of my teammates good friends.

Tom Weise (Southfield): If you were stranded on a deserted island and could only take 3 books with you, what would they be?

Ruth Riley: The Bible, a dictionary, and maybe "The Cat in the Hat" by Dr. Seuss.

Niebel (Mt. Clemens, MI): What do you think the team needs to work on so far and do you see your record improving?

Ruth Riley: I definitely feel we are improving. I think we have lapses in the game when we are not mentally focused and other teams seem to take advantage of that. So once we correct that, I think we will be fine.

Mike Caldwell (Birmingham, MI): Hey Ruth! What type of music do you listen to? Do you listen to anything to get motivated before a game?

Ruth Riley: I listen to all types of music. R&B, Rock, Country, and Gospel. Before a game, I listen to Gospel more than anything else.

Shock fan: Have you ever seen Deanna dunk? If so, does she go off one leg or two?

Ruth Riley: I have not been around when Tweety has dunked the ball, but with her amazing vertical leap, there is no doubt it is possible.

(Detroit, MI): Do you and Bill Laimbeer ever just sit around and talk Notre Dame sports?

Ruth Riley: Between Coach and I, I am definitely the bigger Notre Dame fan. So our conversations last as long as he wants them to because I can talk about ND all day!

Lynn (Detroit, MI): Based on your mom's faith and the fact that you have siblings named Rachel and Jacob, I'd guess you were named after the Biblical Ruth. Do you draw any parallels from her life to yours?

Ruth Riley: You are correct, I was named after the biblical "Ruth". I would like to think I have similar character and faith that she demonstrated.

Brittany (Clinton Twp, MI): Dear Ruth, What was it like winning the WNBA Title compared to winning in college?

Ruth Riley: Winning the WNBA Championship was different because in college we'd played together for 4 years and last year was the first year I was part of the Shock. The difference between the WNBA and college is that the best players in the world are playing professionally in the WNBA.

Karen (Owosso, MI): Hey Ruth! Do you have any offense and defense tips for someone who wants to go far in basketball? I love your game! Hope to hear from you soon!

Ruth Riley: I would say I'd have great coaches along the way who have helped develop my game. The best advice I can give is to always have a desire to learn more to develop as a player.

Rachel (MI): Hi Ruth. Do you think the Olympic break will give you and the other players time to find out how to turn the season around and win another championship? GOOD LUCK in the Olympics and this season. God Bless!

Ruth Riley: I think the break will be good for our team because we've had a few injuries, so it will allow people to rest and continue to work on their game before we come back together.

Jalissa (Detroit): How do you feel about the war since your sister is in the military?

Ruth Riley: I'm proud of my sister and all other members of the Armed Forces for representing our country. I am supportive of our troops.

Ramona (Detroit, MI): Hi Ruth! Good luck in the Olympics! Are you or Swin going to be starters? If you haven't found out yet, do you think there is a good chance that you might?

Ruth Riley: I think Swin and I will be coming off the bench since we are the younger players on a veteran team. We'll be doing the best to fill our roles over there. I'd like to thank everyone for their questions and on behalf of the Shock we appreciate your support and look forward to seeing you at a game!