Ruth Hamblin not horsing around
Freshman center Ruth Hamblin provides leadership on and off the court for women’s basketball thanks
Published: Tuesday, March 12, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, March 12, 2013 02:03
As if growing up in a small Canadian town and towering at 6-foot-6 wasn’t enough to set freshman center Ruth Hamblin of the Oregon State women’s basketball team apart from other students at OSU, her love for horses and involvement in the 4-H youth development organization certainly does.
Hamblin is from Houston, a small town in Canada, 12 hours north of Vancouver. Having grown up in a small community, and on an angus cattle ranch, Hamblin has a different perspective on life than most college students, let alone Division I athletes.
“Ruth is unique solely from where she is from,” said head coach Scott Rueck. “Knowing her, she has a different perspective on life than most of us.”
British Columbia 4-H is a youth program that focuses on developing leadership skills and well-rounded members in a community. The four Hs stand for head, heart, hands and health, and are the basis for the program.
Hamblin officially joined the 4-H program when she was 6 years old, but grew up in the program through her family’s involvement. The experiences she faced in the program — taking care of animals from sheep to horses and cattle — served in teaching her lessons that have transferred to multiple aspects of life.
Those leadership skills have shown on the basketball court this season, and the coaches have taken notice.
“She is extremely mature for her age, she is extremely responsible,” Rueck said. “You know what you are going to get every minute from her. She’s got a dynamic personality that is going to transfer into becoming a great leader for our program.”
Another aspect of 4-H that has been a large part of Ruth’s life is horseback riding. She started riding when she was a child, and it eventually grew into a passion that she holds dear to her heart.
“We had a black angus cattle ranch, so horses were always a part of that with round up,” Hamblin said. “I was involved in horse 4-H since I was very young, but I have always loved the horses.”
Her passion for horses is something that she has tried to maintain despite her busy schedule with basketball. Hamblin has looked into get involved with the equestrian team here at OSU.
Fellow teammate Katie Schrock is also involved in the horse 4-H here in Corvallis, and Hamblin has been able to help a few times.
“With Katie, she did 4-H stuff, so I have helped out with some kids in their 4-H this year,” Hamblin said. “That has allowed me to kind of keep the 4-H part of me involved, [and] hopefully get more involved with that.”
While Hamblin’s main focus is on her basketball career, working with 4-H and horses is something that will always be a part of her life.
“It is something that even when I retire from basketball some day ... at 30, I am going to keep going with the horses,” Hamblin said. “It is something that seems to be a core part of me that I can’t imagine myself without.”
Much like her passion for horses is a central part of her identity, Hamblin takes great pride in being a Canadian. And she’s not afraid to show it.
She admitted to having several Canadian flags hanging up around her dorm suite, as well as ironing a Canadian patch onto her backpack to support her country.
“Well, she doesn’t hide it. Any chance she can get a Canadian jab in, she does,” Rueck said. “It is just who she is and she is just very proud of where she is from.”
While her Canadian heritage has had a role in shaping who Hamblin is, according to her, 4-H has still had the biggest influence. The unique work ethic and perspective she brings to the team is a direct result of her involvement in 4-H — the horseback riding programs in particular.
The maturity level she brings to the team does not dim her dynamic and humorous personality.
“She’s a freakin’ sweetheart, a Canadian hammer, yet goofy and fun,” said senior head team manager Corbin Davey. “Who she is outside of a basketball player is what is going to get her far, she has a good compass in life.”