Detroit Shock center Ruth Riley has earned a WNBA Championship, a WNBA Finals MVP award, an Olympic Gold Medal and a NCAA Championship with Notre Dame during her basketball career. Now the WNBA All-Star has added creative writing to her impressive career.
When the Detroit Shock hosted the New York Liberty on Friday, June 3, the first 3,000 fans through the gates of The Palace received, courtesy of Big Boy, The Spirit of Basketball, a children's book written by Shock Center Ruth Riley.
The 3,000-book giveaway was the largest promotional distribution featuring a player-authored book in league history. Riley wrote the book as part of her continuing commitment to being a role model for her young fans, girls and boys alike, and fans of the WNBA. Riley, along with her Shock teammates, believes that it is an honor to be a role model in the community and is committed to the fans, the community, the organization, and her teammates.
Ruth Riley: Thanks for being online! I'm excited to talk to you about my book The Spirit of Basketball and our ongoing (undefeated) season.
Tucson: How does it feel to have a back up like Braxton and do you believe it enhances your play, or somehow, threatens it?
Ruth Riley: I think it's great to have Kara as a backup. I expect her to be a conteder for Rookie of the Year. You could say that our depth is our biggest assett this year.
Evansville, IN: Ruth,
Congratulations on the 3-0 start. How does it feel to have Niele Ivey back playing with you in Detroit?
Ruth Riley: It's great to have Niele. Obviously I know what she can bring to the court because I had the oportunity to play with her for four years. Definitely look for her to make an impact for us this season. Go Irish!
Katie (Troy): How many hours a week do you practice? Was it different practicing for the Olympics? Was it hard to play with people who were not your normal teammates?
Ruth Riley: Our practice schedule depends on our game schedule. We'd normally go about an hour and a half a day, and personally I stay afterwards to shoot and lift weights. Training for the Olympics was a little different because we didn't have a lot of time. Our veteran leadership really enabled us to be successful.
Joe (Auburn Hills): If you were to play anyone one-on-one, who would it be?
Ruth Riley: Anyone? That's an interesting question. I love the challenge of playing pick-up ball, and I'll play pretty much anyone who wants to step out on the court.
Jack (L.A.): Do you live in Michigan during the offseason?
Ruth Riley: During my offseason I'mall over the place. My home base is Miami, but I'm generally playing on a team in Europe or somewhere else in the U.S.
Nikki (Ferndale): Do you plan on writing more books?
Ruth Riley: I do. Ihad a lot of fun writing I think it's a great way to impact kid's lives. I look forward to writing some more in the future.
Madelynn (Saline): You have had a lot of achievements in your basketball career, what do you consider to be your biggest achievement?
Ruth Riley: It would be hard for me to pick between the three Championships that I've won because they're all special in their own unique way. I just feel so blessed to have been so successful.
Taylor R.H: Do you have a favorite Pistons player? Who??
Ruth Riley: I don't really have a favorite player; I really like the way they work together as a team. But if I was going to watch somebody to help my game, I think the way Rasheed plays in his position is something I can learn a lot from.
Springfield: I have been a fan of yours for years. The first time you can to Springfield to play the Spirit you were very kind. Thank you for being nice to the kids. Katy from Springfield.
Ruth Riley: I appreciate you writing in! Springfield is obviously a great place to play; it's where basketball was born, you could say. I appreciate the support.
Braden (Lanse): How do you feel about being role model?
Ruth Riley: I'm honored to be a role model for the young kids. It's something I take very seriously. I just hope tat my actions are setting a good example.
Dave (.Mackinaw City): What was the biggest lesson you learned last year when the team finished .500? Thanks....good luck with your book!
Ruth Riley: I think the biggest lesson we learned was the loss of opportunity. Even with a sub-par season, we still had a chance in the end. Now we realize the significance of every game.
Helena: : Hey there Ruth how are you doing? How's Swin doing will we be able to see her back in action anytime soon? What do you think the team needs to work on so far and do you see your record improving now that your 3-0 which is great?
Ruth Riley: Swin is working hard everyday to get back out on the court with us. I think it's just a matter of time before she can go 100-percent. I think we need to maintain intensity and execution for 40 minutes. I don't see us letting up any time soon.
cole alpena: what got you to play basketball
Ruth Riley: I've always enjoyed sports. When I was younger I played whatever sport was in season. But basketball has always been my passion.
Brittany Marentette New Haven: Hi Ruth first I just wanted to tell you that I look up to you. Here is my question: after games do you or any other players get together to celebrate a win? If so what do you do?
Ruth Riley: Sometimes we go out as a team to celebrate; what we do depends on if we have time off or when our next game is. Our team has great on and off the court, so we do have a great time together.
Jasmine#15(RIP#32) Detroit : Hey Ruth,First off let me say I love the Shock. Second, I want to know when you practice, exactly how much running do you have to do? I play basketball for Kettering High School in Detroit, and I love it, but the one thing I hate is running.
Ruth Riley: For us, coach expects us to be in shape by the time we get to camp. Most of our training, running wise, is done prior to the season. In practice we do a lot of scrimmaging and conditioning drills. Although it's not exactly any player's favorite thing to do, it's very important to give yourself every advantage you can to be in shape.
Sara (Auburn Hills): If you weren't in the WNBA, what kind of career would you pursue?
Ruth Riley: Right now love cross-training with beach volleyball. But if I wasn't in athletics, I think I would go back to Grad school for either business or law.
Susan (Auburn Hills): What made you decide to write a book?
Ruth Riley: The Shock came up with the idea in the offseason, so I was very excited to join in. I've always liked to write and felt this was the perfect opportunity.
Jerrie(Lake Orion): Hey ruth bud wanted me to tell you he says hello and he will use your book to learn how to read
Ruth Riley: I'm excited that he's going to use my book to read. My mom always placed a lot of emphasis on my education.
Salt Lake City: Ruth, were you really tall when you were a kid? Because I am!
Ruth Riley: I've always been the tallest kid in my class. When I was younger it was very hard because I always got made fun of; but as I've gotten older I've seen it as a blessing.
Kevin: (Ontario, Canada) : Hi there Ruth I have two quick questions for you. 1) What are some of the things you're going to do to help the Shock now that you guys are 3-0? 2) Are you Coach Pat Riley's kid I've always wanted to know that?
Ruth Riley: As for helping the Shock, I'm going to continue to do whatever the team needs me to do. As a team, we like to get up and run, and we definitely want to be known for our defense. As for Coach Riley, although I spent my first two years in Miami and we share the same last name, we aren't related. But I have learned a lot from him.
Vickie (dearborn heights): Hey Ruth
I was wondering what it was like to play in the WNBA and on a Championship team and be the MVP of the game?
Ruth Riley: Playing in the WNBA is very exciting for me. I love our team in Detroit, so winning a Championship was an amazing experience. As for being named the MVP, that was a complete suprise and just another additional honor to a great season.
Detroit: Hey Ruth, you and you're teammates seem to show alot of supprt towards the Pistons and I've seen them at you're games as well. Can you describe the chemistry and if you guys are pretty close or not? It's really nice to see my two favorite teams have their players support each other like you guys do. Thanks, and lets go for another title!
Ruth Riley: We definitely are close with the Pistons players. Obviously we see each other around and have a lot of respect for each other. One of the greatest things about playing in Detroit is the teams - whether it's the Pistons, Lions, Tigers, Red Wings show a lot of support for each other. I don't think you see that in too many cities.
Fort Rucker, AL: Just wanted to wish you the best of luck on your season this summer. I'm a huge fan and congrats on your book!
Ruth Riley: Thanks for the support! The book was a lot of fun to write and I'm looking forward to a great year.
ATLANTA: HELLO RUTH, WE MEET AT THIS YEARS ALL-STAR GAME IN DENVER. DESPITE ME MISTAKEN YOU FOR REBECCA LOBO YOU STILL SHOWED LOVE AND EVEN TOOK A PICTURE. WHICH CAME OUT GREAT! I JUST WANT YOU TO KNOW THAT I HAVE THAT PICTURE IN A FRAME ON MY MEMORY WALL! THANKS FOR BEING SUCH A GOOD SPORT AND KEEP PUTTING IT DOWN ON THE COURT!
Ruth Riley: Thanks for your support. A lot of people have mistaken me for Rebecca, but I appreciate the sentiment.
Bobby (Auburn Hills): How tall are you?
Ruth Riley: Bobby, I'm six-foor-four and a half to be exact. If you're from Auburn Hills, I hope to see you at a game.
Millington: As you get on with your season what do you think you need to improve?
Ruth Riley: I think I need to be more consistent. I have a lot of good looks at the basket but I haven't been knocking them down. I just want to keep trying to be a better player and hopefully extend my range.
Ruth Riley: Just want to say thanks again for signing on to chat. Looking forward to seeing y'all at a Shock game this season!