March 2, 2001
HARTFORD, CONN. — Notre Dame basketball star Ruth Riley has been named the 2000-01 BIG EAST/Aeropostale Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year and the Women’s Basketball Scholar-Athlete of the Year. She will receive $4,000 which will be applied to graduate studies. The winner is determined by the league’s Academic Awards Committee.
Aeropostale Stores is the official apparel of BIG EAST Championships and also is the sponsor of the Conference’s Post Graduate Student-Athlete Scholarship Program. This year Aeropostale will award 31 scholarships to Conference student-athletes to assist in their pursuit of graduate or professional studies.
Riley, a senior center from Macy, Ind., is just the second women’s player to earn both the basketball award and the Scholar-Athlete of the Year award. Dr. Leigh Curl of the University of Connecticut won both honors in 1985, the inaugural year of the awards. Villanova basketball player Harold Jensen won both men’s awards in 1987. Riley was chosen for the Scholar-Athlete of the Year award from a pool of 15 candidates which may encompass athletes from any of the 12 BIG EAST women’s sports.
Riley, a psychology and sociology major in ND’s honors program, is the 2000-01 BIG EAST Player of the Year and was honored as the conference’s Defensive Player of the Year for the third consecutive season. She led the BIG EAST in field goal shooting (.644) and blocks (3.6) and finished third in rebounding (8.2). Among all NCAA Division I players, Riley ranks second in blocks and fourth in shooting.
As a junior, Riley earned first team All-America honors from the Associated Press and was named to the GTE/CoSIDA Academic All-America first team. She has helped the Fighting Irish to four straight NCAA appearances as a three-time member of the All-BIG EAST First Team. Riley is a four-time BIG EAST Academic All-Star and a Dean’s List student. She has volunteered her time with many charitable events including school library readings and the Red Ribbon March, a drug-free prgram. Riley speaks on several occasions to high school students in the South Bend area and participates in Notre Dame’s Healthy Choices Program for alcohol awareness.
She will finish her ND career ranked eighth in all-time BIG EAST scoring (1,135), 10th in rebounding (544) and second in blocks (193).
The conference also announced the ’00-01 BIG EAST/Aeropostale Female Scholar-Athlete Award winners who will each receive $2,000 toward graduate studies.
The women’s winners are: Katherine Murphy, Boston College (Soccer, Education – Moderate Special Needs), Amy Lynn Herz, Connecticut (Field Hockey, Physiology & Neurobiology), Sarah Breech, Georgetown (Soccer, Psychology), Jenny Keim, Miami (Diving, Political Science), Jennifer Sharron, Notre Dame (Softball, Film Television and Theatre), Jen Nickels, Pittsburgh (Volleyball, Movement Science), Tricia Brennan, Providence (Soccer, Health Policy Management), Kimberly Fife, Rutgers (Track & Field, Molecular Biology & Biochemistry), Amanda Berg, St. John’s (Volleyball, Communication Arts), Erica Broomfield, Seton Hall (Track & Field, Graphic Design & Advertising Art), Cindy Wolf, Syracuse (Soccer, Public Relations), Keri Stoller, Villanova (Softball, Business Adminstration/Marketing), Lindsey Tew, Virginia Tech (Swimming & Diving, Biology), Krista Smith, West Virginia (Volleyball, Biology).
The BIG EAST/AEROPOSTALE Men’s Basketball Scholar-Athlete will be announced March 6 in conjunction with the 2001 AT&T BIG EAST Championship.