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Jennifer Rudis

Washington University in St. Louis

















The 6'0" forward is heading into her senior season for the Bears of Washington University.  She led the UAA powerhouse in minutes & rebounds per game, while finishing third on the team in scoring.  Jen hopes to lead the Bears to their 5th National Championship in the last six years.

1) Could you tell us a little bit about your high school career before heading to Washington University in St. Louis?

I attended a private Catholic school, Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin. I started all 4 years on the varsity squad. It was a fun experience but we didn't win as much as I would have liked. I went through two knee surgeries for torn cartilage, and my mother actually wanted me to end basketball after my second surgery because she was uncertain about the toll that basketball was taking on my body. As you can see, the competitor in me decided to play. She jokes now that she is glad that I ignored her and went on to play college ball.

2) Why did you decide to attend Wash. U? Were there any other schools you thought about going to?

It was quite easy when my family and I weighed all of the options. Wash U is close enough that my parents make my games, is in a great city, has a remarkable academic standing, and has a dominant women's basketball program-a perfect fit.

3) Washington University women's hoops program has been the most successful basketball program in the country over the last five years (all levels). Could you tell us about Coach Nancy Fahey and how she manages to continually put dominant teams on the floor each year?

Coach Fahey, along with her coaching staff demand excellence. Throughout her years at WashU a precedent has been set - the team knows what it takes to get to a national title game. She believes strongly in conditioning, weightlifting, bringing 100% to practice, and working our tails off in the offseason. One of the most important aspects of the program is the way the Coach Fahey and her coaching staff develop a sense of family within the program. It seems like my teammates are sisters and the coaches are our surrogate parents at times, a constant support network for issues even beyond the court. We want to work together, we want to achieve because we are a family and we love being together- especially doing something we love, like basketball.

4) Do you think finally having lost to Wisconsin-Steven Pt. in the 2nd round of the NCAA's will enable the team to take its focus level to a new high? Did you or your teammates ever become jaded to the winning?

We were never jaded towards winning, but I can tell you that we are hungry this
year. But I believe that the Bears are hungry every year.

5) The UAA(University Athletic Association) is probably the most geographically diverse conference in D3 athletics. What problems (such as travel & being away from class) does this pose? Or is it fun playing at schools in larger/diverse cities that you might otherwise not be able to visit?

The UAA is really a great conference. I have been to so many great cities
and seen many sights that I never dreamed I would visit every year for four
years! The coaches are good about letting us see the cities, but we are still
there to play ball, and of course you have tests and papers to worry about!

6) Wash. U is nationally recognized as one of the top 20 academic schools in the country. How hard is it to balance athletics & academics, while also finding the time to have some fun?

Since WashU is a tough academic school, at times it can be a little unnerving to balance everything. But I also think that it makes me a more determined and organized student. I know that my time is limited and I know what I want to achieve in the classroom and on the court, so I get it done. Yes, you do have to sacrifice sometimes, but I think it is so worthwhile. I could never trade the experience. would like to thank Jennifer for taking the time to answer our questions.  We wish her, the Bears, and her family the best in the coming year.





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