Former High School Basketball Star Returns to Iowa for NCAA Tournament
AMES, Iowa — The NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament in Ames is a homecoming for Missouri State guard Elle Ruffridge. The 5 foot 3 inch dynamo is well known in Iowa as the leading high school career scorer with 2,951 points and was Iowa Miss Basketball in 2017.
“As soon as we found out that we were going to be playing in Ames, my phone erupted with text messages, calls, lots of people contacting me through social media just saying how they excited they are to come to Hilton and watch us play,” said Ruffridge. “We did play Drake and at UNI. As soon as we saw Ames, Iowa come across the screen, I felt so happy. I was essentially coming back to my home.”
Ruffridge, now in her sophomore year, has helped the Lady Bears coming in off the bench. Her coach is excited for her only Iowa-native team member to come home.
“Every one knew she could shoot the basketball, but she also brought to the team a knowledge of winning, a great work ethic, competitiveness, and toughness,” said Missouri State Head Coach Kellie Harper. “She is really a good person as well, and I’m happy for her that she has the opportunity to play in her home state.”
“It’s March Madness. I think any team at this point is excited to keep playing ball right now,” said Ruffridge. “I’m just excited to take the court with these girls again.”
Missouri State Takes on DePaul at 2:30 p.m. in Hilton. The game is on ESPN2.