Ruthanne Forehand says she “wasn’t the best” at basketball when she started high school.
Three years and many hours of hard work later, she has come a long way.
Like all student-athletes, it took some time for Forehand to develop her game. But fast forward to her senior campaign — the three-sport athlete has been a significant part of one of the best basketball seasons the Groton girls have seen in some time.
The Indians (13-4), champions of the IAC North Small Division, are preparing to face South Small champion Tioga (14-4) in Friday’s Interscholastic Athletic Conference Small School title game, slated for 6 p.m. at Tompkins Cortland Community College.
The 5-foot-8 Forehand, who also plays soccer and softball at Groton, says that she expects her team to go far in the postseason, which would be the perfect way for the senior to cap off her high school basketball career. Groton coach Jen Case is impressed by the way Forehand has stepped up as a team leader this year.
“There has been a huge change in maturity level for her,” Case said. “She was always a natural athlete but now she has become a team leader and she has stepped up mentally.”
Forehand, who’s averaging a shade more than 12 points for the Indians, said that this season has been her favorite due to the closeness of the team. In this latest edition of “Five Questions,” we ask Forehand about her season, her role models and what life after high school might hold for her.
What kinds of things were you expecting heading into this season?
“We have been playing together for a while and we are all really close. We kind of have a one-up on other teams because we know each other so well and we know how we play. I’ve been improving the last few years. We all have a bad game, but I just work to improve each and every day
In what ways have you improved as a player in the last couple of years?
My freshman year, I didn’t get much playing time. I wasn’t the best at (basketball) but with help from my coaches, they helped me out with my shot and my defense. I earned a starting spot the last couple years and I think as an individual I’ve been getting better.
How have your coaches and teammates influenced you over the years?
My JV coach was really hard on us but he wanted us to improve. But because he was so hard on us, it made me want to be better. With criticism and a good coach will come rewards if you do good things. With Ms. Case, she is always telling us that we need to prove to ourselves to be better. It pushes me to prove to myself and to my teammates that I am capable of achieving excellence.
Do you have any role models or heroes of any kind?
My uncles were always big athletes. I grew up playing sports with them and even though they are 10 years older than me, I still look up to them and I want to be as good as they are. Along with my dad, they always were there to help me and they always went to my games. They were baseball players so I strive to be as good as they were at baseball with any sport that I play. My grandma also has always been there for me. She always teaches me that if I am having a bad day, then I can encourage people so that next time they can encourage me.
What are your plans for after graduation?
I plan to go to college at either TC3 or (SUNY) Plattsburgh, but leaning more toward Plattsburgh. I hope to play sports, whether it’s two sports or one sport. I haven’t quite decided which sport I want to play yet but I will definitely do intramural sports if I don’t play a team sport. I would like to study psychology.