Ruth Hamblin will play for the Dallas Wings in the WNBA after being picked 18th overall at the Uncasville, Conn. draft.
The Wings picked the Smithers-born, Houston-raised six-foot-six centre last Thursday. She also represents the first-ever Houston resident to play in the WNBA.
“It’s such an honour to be selected by them,” said Hamblin. “They’re a great program and they’re building an exciting program in Dallas.”
Hamblin started playing basketball in Grade 9 at Houston Christian School (HCS) seven years ago. She said hard work and her faith has led her to the pinnacle of women’s basketball.
“I wasn’t sure if I wanted to play basketball, and then I just was praying about it, and God put in my heart to continue playing and kind of led me to want to play at the highest level, so here I am today.”
Her former HCS coach, Wendall Ewald, felt astounded by her success. As her coach, Ewald commended that Hamblin was “highly coachable.”
“You give her some instructions, some ideas on how to improve her game, and she will just work tenaciously at that until she just masters it,” said Ewald.
But she knows that basketballers start to retire by about 30, and she plans to fall back on her mechanical engineering degree.
“When I do decide to hang up my shoes, I’ll be ready to change the world in different ways,” she said.
Hamblin is looking forward to going to Texas, but as a Northern British Columbian, she knows the heat in the south will challenge her.
“I’ll probably have to adapt,” said Hamblin. “Looking at the temperatures today, I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, the highs of 35 C, I might melt.’ ”
Hamblin’s mother, Shirley, chuckles at the idea that Hamblin might melt.
But Shirley will miss Hamblin even more as she moves farther south.
“Thank goodness there’s modern technology. Between texting and phoning and Facetime and Instagram and Snapchat, we manage to keep fairly well connected,” said Shirley. “She’s entering into another stage of her life and it’s another stage where she’s becoming a full adult.”
Read the full story in the April 20 edition of The Interior News