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Sweeney-Spitzeck comes to the Bengals as a Junior transfer from Northeastern Junior College, where she played this past season. Sweeney-Spitzeck started her career in the States, playing one year at Fort Lewis College in Colorado.

While at Northeastern, the shooting guard averaged 13.8 ppg, shooting 40.2 percent from the floor and 35.1 percent from behind the three-point line. From the charity stripe, she shot 79.8 percent and grabbed six boards per game.

Sweeney-Spitzeck helped lead the Northeastern team to a 29-4 record and a trip to the Region IX championship game.

Before all that, she was a FOOTSCRAY HAWK!

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Our President, Shawn Vlaeminck, sat down with Ruby for a one-on-one.

SV – Welcome, Ruby. Now that we have covered your recent Bio. What’s next concerning your relocation to the Bengals?

RS-S - I am still attending junior college in Colorado but will be relocating to Idaho in two months. Before all of this, I spent 12 months at Fort Lewis College.

SV – Basketball is important in the college ranks, but more importantly, what are you studying?

RS-S - Graduated associates with junior college, and I have two more years left to study for my Bachelors of Communication

SV - Can you share your earliest memories of playing basketball with the Footscray Hawks?

RS-S – One of my earliest memories was winning the GF when I was 11 years old with my U12 Hawks.

SV - What or who inspired you to start playing basketball?

RS_S - I started my basketball journey with Aussie Hoops when I was really little, I loved it and never wanted to stop.

SV - Were there any specific coaches or mentors at Footscray Hawks who significantly impacted your development?

RS-S - Ron Diocera, was my Footscray Hawks coach and Westgate coach. This was also the first year the girls had a program with Westgate. Ron made it really challenging and it always fun.

SV - Can you recall any particular game or moment from your time with the Footscray Hawks that stands out?-

RS-S - Winning the GF in U12, as I said, but the Community connection of Hawks was always noticeable.

Transition to College Basketball

SV - What motivated you to pursue college basketball in the United States?

RS-S- I wanted an adventure, so I heard about an opportunity and decided to go for it.

SV - How did you prepare for the transition from playing in Australia to competing in the U.S. college system?-

RS-S - Hard to prepare when you don’t know anything. One non-negotiable requirement is motivation and a strong work ethic. With a move like this, you adapt to different environments well. I've also learnt it's just essential to ride the wave of the season and maintain your work ethic.

SV - What were some of the biggest challenges you faced during this transition, both on and off the court?

RS-S—On the court, it is down to focus and effort. Even though you're away from home, you're so consumed by basketball. This becomes challenging if there is a period when it's not going well; it makes it hard, especially overall if the team is not doing well.

College Experience

SV - What has been the most rewarding aspect of playing college basketball so far?

RS-S—Playing in the college system, the most rewarding thing is playing well. When you move all this way, you work hard, overcome adversity and give your all. Now I'm going into my third year, having been there for two ½ years now. You start to see things pay off.

SV - How do you balance academics and athletics as a student-athlete?

RS-S - Get a calendar and use it.

Lots of teams have rules, and every couple of weeks, they check your grades, so you have to keep a certain GPA; otherwise, you would have to do extra study hours, and you're monitored relatively heavily.

SV - Can you describe a typical day in the life of a college basketball player?

RS-S - Wake up 6;30- weights strength and condition first 7-8

Shooting work out 8-9

Class from 9-12 noon

Team meeting 1-2

Team practice 3-5

Then you have study hall, eat, extra study, and squeeze in a part-time job if you have work.

SV - Have you had any standout moments or achievements in your college career that you're particularly proud of?

RS-S - I Was selected for Regionals at the end of the year. They chose players from the finals, and I got selected from within the all-region tournament team. I was chosen from every team in our conference, and out of 200 players, they chose a squad of 10.

SV – Fantastic insights. Let’s focus now on your personal growth and future aspirations.

SV - What are your short-term and long-term goals in your basketball career?

RS-S - Short term – play well at Idaho State, spend the next two years, and finish my degree.

In the long term, I would like to return to Australia to play WNBL or potentially play overseas for a year or two.

The best pathway is to play here in Australia is NBL 1 or WNBL.

SV - Do you have any advice for young aspiring basketball players, especially those starting in clubs like the Footscray Hawks?

RS-S - Have fun, be consistent, and enjoy learning and getting better. In America, it’s a business, so you have to try your best to make them happy and be genuine.

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